GST Consumer Welfare Fund can be given as grant to Centre, states: CBIC


New Delhi, Apr 19 () The proceeds from the consumer welfare fund, constituted under GST, can be given as grant to the Centre and state governments as well as regulatory authorities, the CBIC said today.

In a notification, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said the government shall constitute a Standing Committee with a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, a Member Secretary and such other members for managing the fund.

The Central GST Act provides for creation of a Consumer Welfare Fund wherein undue benefits made by businesses under the GST law have to be deposited, in case it cannot be passed on to the identified recipient.

The committee will make recommendations for proper utilisation of the money credited to the fund for welfare, including making available grants to any ‘applicant’.

It has defined ‘applicant’ as the central or state government, regulatory authorities or autonomous bodies constituted under an Act of Parliament or the Legislature of a State or Union Territory.

It also includes any agency or organisation engaged in consumer welfare activities for a minimum period of three years, registered under the Companies Act, 2013 or under any other law for the time being in force.

Village or mandal or samiti or samiti level co-operatives of consumers will also be eligible for claiming grants from the fund.

As per the notification, the committee can also recommend investing the money available in the fund or for making available grants (on selective basis) for reimbursing legal expenses incurred by a complainant, or class of complainants in a consumer dispute, after its final adjudication.

It could also recommend making available up to 50 per cent of the funds credited to the consumer welfare fund each year, for publicity/ consumer awareness on GST.

The CBIC notification also tweaked the rule for method of calculation of refund on account of inverted duty structure and refund of input tax credit.

Besides, the CBIC also notified Form GSTR-10, which businesses have to fill up in case they want to surrender their registration under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

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