New Delhi: The National Anti-Profiteering Authority has ordered Samsonite India, makers of American Tourister travel bags, to pay ₹25.73 crore for continuing to charge higher goods and services tax (GST) from customers despite tax rate reduction from 28% to 18% in 2017.

The authority also held that the Director General of Anti-Profiteering (DGAP) can initiate investigation on the basis of complaints other than those of the buyers of the product as this was enabled under the anti-profiteering provisions.

“The respondent has acted in contravention of the provisions of Section 171 of the CGST Act 2017 and not passed on the benefit of reduction in the rate of tax by commensurate reduction in prices. Accordingly, amount of profiteering is determined as ₹25.73 crore,” the authority said in its order dated April 28 — which was passed later due to Covid-19 induced lockdown—while upholding the agency’s investigation report.

NAA said its order could not be uploaded earlier. Samsonite has been ordered to pay up within three months and also reduce the prices of its products in accordance with the reduction in tax rate.

The complainant took screenshots of the product which Samsonite was selling through online retailer Amazon but had not purchased the product.

The authority also put the onus of fixing the price of a product on the manufacturer.

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By ndy