Anti Profiteering Body Dismisses Case Against Bharti Telemedia

Bharti Airtel said the National Anti-profiteering Authority has dismissed a complaint against its subsidiary Bharti Telemedia for not passing on GST rate cut benefits to its consumers.

“We wish to inform you that complaint filed in the subject matter has been dismissed as being non-maintainable by National Anti-profiteering Authority and the same stands closed,” Bharti Airtel said in a regulatory filing.

The investigation against the DTH service provider Bharti Telemedia started following a customer complaint that alleged that the firm did not reduce the prices of its services after implementation of the GST, denying consumers the benefit of the reduced tax rate. While the overall tax burden came down in the new tax regime, consumers continued to pay the same tax rate on the DTH services, as per the complaint.

The Matter

A customer had alleged that the firm did not reduce the prices of its services after implementation of the GST

While the overall tax burden came down in the new tax regime, consumers continued to pay the same tax rate on the DTH services, as per the complaint

The tax incidence, which earlier ranged between 25% and 40%, came down to 18% after GST kicked in from July 1, 2017. However, the benefit of the reduction in the tax rate was not passed on to consumers, according to the complainant.

“We reiterate that the company, as a responsible corporate, is committed to ensuring compliance with the applicable regulations and can assure you that it will make the disclosure of events that are material, at an appropriate time,” the company said in a filing.

There was no evidence to prove that the respondent (Bharti Telemedia) had charged more price in the GST era and not passed on the benefit of tax reduction as the tax rate had increased from 15 % to 18%….the allegation of profiteering is not established in the present case, “ the authority said in its order dated June 12, 2019.

“There was no merit found in the application…and the same is being dismissed as being not maintainable, the authority added.―DNA India

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