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New Delhi : In an immediate follow up action of last week’s Cabinet approval for creation of the posts of Chairman and Technical Members of the National Anti-profiteering Authority under GST, the Government on November 28, 2017, issued orders appointing senior IAS officer B N Sharma, as the first Chairman of this apex Authority in the rank of Secretary to Government of India.

B N Sharma, an IAS officer of 1985 batch belonging to Rajasthan cadre, is currently posted as Additional Secretary in the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.  Sharma has been closely associated with the formulation of GST and its implementation. He has also worked as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Power and prior to that, in the Commercial Taxes Department in the State of Rajasthan, according to a PIB release.

Sharma would be assisted by four senior officials of the rank of Joint Secretary and above, who have been appointed as Technical Members in the Authority. They are : J C Chauhan, Chairman Tax Tribunal, Himachal Pradesh, Bijay Kumar, Principal Commissioner GST, Kolkata, C L Mahar, Principal Commissioner GST, Meerut, and Ms R Bhagyadevi, ADG, Systems, Chennai.

The appointment orders of Sharma as Chairman and other officials as Technical Members of the Authority were issued on the recommendation of a high level Selection Committee headed by P K Sinha, Cabinet Secretary. Revenue Secretary, Chairman, CBEC, and Chief Secretaries of States of Maharashtra and Tamilnadu were the other members of the Selection Committee. The Authority has been set up for a two-year period, which would begin from the date B N. Sharma assumes charge as Chairman.

The Authority is mandated to ensure that the benefits of input credit and the reduction in GST rates on specified goods or services are passed on to the consumers by way of a commensurate reduction in prices.

It may be recalled that at almost every meeting, the GST Council has been engaged in rationalizing and reducing the GST rates on a wide spectrum of goods and services. The last and indeed the most significant reduction took place from midnight of  November 14, 2017, when the GST rate were slashed from 28% to 18% on goods falling under 178 headings. This now leaves only 50 items which attract the highest GST rate of 28%. Likewise, a large number of items witnessed a reduction in GST rates from 18% to 12% and so on with some goods being completely exempt from GST, according to the PIB release.

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