There seems to be no end of miseries for Patiala improvement trust with the latest blow coming from the income tax department which sealed all bank accounts of the trust for non-payment of tax for past several years.
The trust owed around Rs 13 crore to IT department, which its authorities have failed to pay despite several notices and warnings.
Earlier on November 12 last year, six officials of improvement trust including executive officer and town planner have been suspended for causing loss to the government by releasing seven acres of prime land to private parties and de-notifying extension scheme notified by the state government in 2006 .
As per the available information, the trust had generated huge income after selling different properties under its jurisdiction over the years but failed to deposit tax over the collected income.
However, against the calculated 21 crore of tax, the trust authorities had managed to pay Rs 8 crore while it challenged the imposition of the remaining amount of Rs 13 crore before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.
Assistant commissioner of the income tax department Rohit Kumar confirmed sealing of the banks accounts and said the action was initiated following the failure of the trust authorities to make their pending payments.
"The accounts have been sealed after non payment of taxes on the amount generated after selling its properties over the years. Further action will be taken accordingly", he said.
One of the senior functionary of the trust said the sealing of bank accounts will affect payments of salaries to the employees and pending payments of the contractors while halting development projects across the city.
The improvement trust has been carrying out construction of roads including two kilometer stretch leading from Badunger colony to Khalsa college and medical college, which is presently in deplorable situation making it almost difficult for commuters to ply vehicles.
The project is likely to be delayed following the sealing of the accounts of the trust.
Meanwhile, improvement trust accountant MS Brar said the matter has been already pending in the Tribunal, while the next hearing is scheduled to be held on February 20.
"Despite the matter being pending with IT's appellate authority, its staff has sealed trust's bank accounts instantly. For such attitude, we will now move the High Court against IT department's action", he said.