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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Rs 1,000-crore vibrant Gujarat deals face tax probe

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  Ahmedabad/New Delhi, March 15, 2011
First Published: 19:10 IST(15/3/2011) | Last Updated: 23:30 IST(15/3/2011)

Deals worth more than Rs. 1,000 crore signed between business groups and the Gujarat government at a biennial investors' summit have come under the tax scanner. Nearly 8,000 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) pledging investments worth Rs. 20.83 lakh crore were inked at the latest edition of the Vibrant Gujarat summit, held in January.

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Saurabh Patel, Gujarat's junior minister for industries and finance, told the assembly on Tuesday the BJP state government has received a notice saying the income tax department is initiating an inquiry into some of those deals.

"It is unfortunate that income tax (I-T) department of the country has initiated an inquiry and asked the state to furnish details of MoUs and investors where investment above R1,000 crore was pledged," Patel said.

Details of the Vibrant Gujarat summit held in 2009 have also been sought, he added.

The minister blamed the state's main opposition Congress — which heads the UPA government at the Centre — for trying to create hurdles in the "progress in Gujarat".

The BJP said it was a conspiracy to scare investors away from Gujarat.

"This is not a normal practice. It is part of a vindictive decision of Congress government against development of Gujarat," BJP deputy leader in Rajya Sabha SS Ahluwalia said.

But Gujarat's leader of opposition Shaktisinh Gohil of the Congress said, "The BJP is talking about launching a crusade against black money in the country, then why should it object to I-T's action against black money in Gujarat," Gohil asked.

The notice was sent after a written complaint from the leader of the opposition in Gujarat, said an official at the Central Board of Direct Taxes.

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