Sensex Trades Flat; PSU Stocks Lead Losses

After opening the day in green, share markets in India witnessed choppy trading activity and are presently trading flat. Sectoral indices are trading mixed with stocks in the banking sector and stocks in the PSU sector trading in red. While stocks in the FMCG sector are trading in green.

The BSE Sensex is down by 45 points (down 0.1%) and the NSE Nifty is trading down by 20 points (down 0.2%). Meanwhile, the BSE Mid Cap index is trading down by 0.2%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading down by 0.1%. The rupee is trading at 64.89 to the US$.

In news from stocks in the FMCG sector. Fast-moving consumer goods major Hindustan Unilever (HUL) said that it will the government another tranche of goods and services tax (GST) benefits that it could not pass on to consumers.

HUL had by itself handed over to the government Rs 1.19 billion in two tranches of Rs 600 million and Rs 590 million for November and December, which is yet to be deposited in the Consumer Welfare Fund.

However, The Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) has sought clarifications from HUL% on the methodology used to arrive at Rs 1.19 billion that the company offered to the government after it could not pass the entire benefits of GST.

Since the past two months, DGS, the investigation arm of the revenue department, has been checking to make sure companies are passing on the benefits of lower levies under the goods and services tax (GST) regime to consumers. In November, the GST Council dropped tax rates on 200 products, including chocolates, toothpaste, shampoo, washing powder and shaving creams, to 18% from 28%.

The Union Cabinet approved the setting up of the anti-profiteering authority under the GST regime in a bid to ensure that the benefit of lower rates is passed on to consumers.

Anti-profiteering measures will provide an institutional framework to ensure that the full benefits of input tax credits and reduced GST rates on goods or services flow to consumers. This institutional framework comprises the National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA), a Standing Committee, a Screening Committee in every state and the Directorate General of Safeguards under the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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