Casting a wider net against FMCG firms alleged to be profiteering from GST rate cuts, DGAP has opened new investigations against two giants in the sector ITC and Patanjali Ayurveda, reports Business Standard (BS).
These firms are alleged to have benefited disproportionately from GST rate cuts by refusing to cut product prices in line with the new tax rates. Thus, though the consumers continued to pay the same prices as in the pre-GST era, the companies made bigger profits since their tax liability had come down.
One of India's largest conglomerates, ITC affirmed that it had received enquiries from the DGAP.
“We are continuously providing necessary information to the authorities. We are in full compliance with the law and will continue to cooperate with the authorities. The matter is subjudice and, therefore, we would not like to offer any further comment at the moment,” said an ITC spokesperson.
DGAP has also claimed that Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali profiteered close to Rs 176 crore on various FMCG items till August 2018. “We are now extending our investigation to check further profiteering by Patanjali till March 2019,” said a government official.
Not The Only One
Over the past few months, Directorate General of Anti-Profiteering (DGAP) had initiated inquiries against other FMCG giants like P&G India, Hindustan Unilever and Johnson & Johnson (J&J). Investigations are also underway against electronics giant Samsung.
In all these instances, the companies denied allegations of wrongdoing.