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McDonald’s & Lifestyle International Served Notices For Violating GST Laws!

The government is taking the issue of profiteering very seriously indeed.

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McDonald's Found Violating GST Laws

In the month of November this year, Govt. of India had formed a special anti-profiteering body, whose main task was to ensure GST compliance by various businesses and to make sure that consumers are not being charged extra under the garb of GST.

Reputed food-chain McDonald’s and Lifestyle International from Landmark have become the first major businesses to get a notice from this anti-profiteering body, for violating GST laws and charging customers extra amount.

This special anti-profiteering body has been endowed with special powers and has the authority to close down a business in case any wrongdoing is found.

Will McDonald’s and Lifestyle International pay a heavy penalty now?

McDonald’s, Lifestyle International Slapped With Notice

Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd, which is the master franchisee of global fast-food biggie McDonald’s in western and southern India, along with Lifestyle International, which is part of multi-billion dollar Dubai based retail and hospitality conglomerate Landmark Group has been slapped with notices by the special anti-profiteering body for violating GST laws.

Along with them, a Jaipur-based stockist of Hindustan Unilever has also been served notice.

Based on the references from National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA), The Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS), has sent the notice to these companies. Note here, that The Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) is an investigative body under Revenue Department, and holds the special power to dig deep into operations of any business or corporation.

As per the regulations put forth under National Anti-Profiteering Authority, a special 3-member committee will look into the complaints received, and send their recommendations for action/penalty.

This committee will take three months to investigate the case. Once done, the recommendations shall be sent to the Chairman of NAA, B.N. Sharma for executing the recommendations.

There has been no official reply from McDonald’s or Lifestyle International on this issue.

169 Complaints Received By Anti-Profiteering Body

As of now, since the time inception, the special anti-profiteering body has received a total of 169 complaints by consumers, against businesses and brands charging extra money citing GST; something which is against the GST laws.

The three notices sent to McDonald’s, Lifestyle International and HUL Stockist are among the first among these complaints, to receive notice from the DGS.

Legal metrology department, on the other hand, has set up their own channel to receive complaints against over-charging under GST regime and will take their separate action on the matter.

One of the persons close to the developments said,

“We have to be cautious and judicious in exercising the anti-profiteering provision,”

It would be interesting to observe what action would be taken against these companies, as the business world would be closely following the developments.

We will keep you updated.

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