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Cong to seek registration of corruption case against Modi govt

india Updated: Jan 23, 2012 21:25 IST
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President of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC), Arjun Modhwadia, on Monday said that a party delegation would soon meet the Gujarat governor and demand a probe into an alleged sales tax scam.

"Congress will soon meet the Governor and demand registration of case under the anti-corruption act against the Gujarat CM and his accomplices for illegally passing on benefits to the tune of Rs 6,300 crore to Essar Oil," he said.

Recently, the Supreme Court, on the petition of the state government, had ordered Essar Oil to pay Rs 6,300 crore to the state by way of tax dues, reversing a high court order.

The high court had passed the order in favour of Essar in 2008. Gujarat government then moved the Supreme Court, and Congress claims the government did so only because the party put pressure.

The Supreme Court set aside high court ruling, whereby Essar Oil had been allowed to avail of Sales Tax Deferment Scheme (facility to pay tax in deferred instalments).

Modhwadia said while the state government recovered sales tax from two smaller units, namely, Jhagadia Copper and SWIL Ltd, who had qualified for premium status but were unable to continue production, a pre-requisite for the scheme, no tax was recovered from Essar Oil.

"Legally they were not entitled for the deferred payment over the specified capacity, but Gujarat government did not realise the tax dues from them," he said.

Whenever the Commercial Tax Department raised the issue of recovering the dues, the industry department, the portfolio held by Narendra Modi, refused, Modhwadia alleged.