Economy

GST: Cabinet approves setting up of Anti-Profiteering Authority

K.R.Srivats New Delhi | Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on November 16, 2017

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the setting up of an Anti-Profiteering Authority to protect consumer interests under the current goods and services tax (GST) system.

The move to set up this authority is an assurance to consumers in India that the Modi Government is focused on protecting their interests and profiteering does not take place, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law & Justice and Information Technology, told presspersons here after the Cabinet meeting.

The National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) has been mandated to ensure that the benefits of the reduction in GST rates on goods or services are passed on to the ultimate consumers by way of reduction in prices.

The Cabinet approved creation of the posts of Chairman and Technical Members of the NAA.

The "anti-profiteering" measures enshrined in the GST law provides an institutional framework, which comprises the NAA, a Standing Committee, Screening Committees in every State and the Directorate General of Safeguards in the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

PULSES EXPORTS

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) also approved the removal of prohibition on export of all types of pulses. This is expected to ensure that farmers have greater choice in marketing their produce and get better remuneration for their produce.

Export of pulses would provide an alternative market for the surplus production of pulses. It is expected that pulses production will be sustained in the country and "our import dependence on pulses will come down substantially", an official release said. \

MIG HOUSING BOOST

The Cabinet also approved increase in the carpet area of houses eligible for interest subsidy under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for the Middle Income Group (MIG) under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (urban).

The carpet area in MIG1 has been increased from 90 square metre to "up to 150 square metre". This change will be effective from January 1, 2017.

The increase will give individuals in the MIG category a wider choice in developers' projects. It will give a boost to the sale of ready built flats in the affordable housing segment.

RAILWAY DIVIDEND

The Cabinet also approved the Railways Ministry proposal to move a resolution in both Houses of Parliament adopting the Railway Convention Committee (2014) recommendation that the rate of dividend payable by the Railways for the year 2016-17 to the General Revenues be waived off, purely as a one-time move.

CIVIL AVIATION COOPERATION

The Cabinet also approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Poland for the promotion of civil aviation cooperation.

The MoU will be for a term of five years. The objective will be to leverage mutual benefits of cooperation in the field of civil aviation, especially in establishing and improving regional air connectivity in India.

Both sides will also recognise the mutual benefits of environmental testing or approvals, monitoring and approval of flight dimulstors, aircraft maintenance facilities approvals, maintenance personnel approvals and aircrew members' approvals.

TELECOM

The Cabinet also approved the deputation of Group 'A' officers of the Department of Telecommunications and other ministries with a telecommunications and information technology background, to Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd (TCIL).

Srivats.kr@thehindu.co.in

Published on November 16, 2017
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