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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Excise dept forms panel to investigate charges of VAT refund by bogus firms

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, December 11, 2013
First Published: 21:06 IST(11/12/2013) | Last Updated: 21:08 IST(11/12/2013)

The excise and taxation department has formed a committee to investigate the reports of large-scale refund of value added tax (VAT) allegedly running into crores of rupees by claimed by bogus firms.

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A committee under an excise officer of the rank of divisional excise and taxation commissioner has been told to investigate the matter and file a report in a month.

Financial commissioner taxation DP Reddy constituted the committee after the matter was brought to light by former minister Satpal Gosain who has also submitted affidavits supporting his allegations.
According to reports, Gosain has also given a list of 52 bogus firms operated by close relatives of officials of the excise and taxation department.

"Some firms are run in the names of even drivers and gunmen attached to excise officials. There are five to six officials running these bogus firms," said Amit Gosain, general secretary of the youth wing of the Punjab BJP.

He said that in the affidavit submitted by his grandfather Satpal Gosain, he had also given TIN numbers of the firms and the amount of money taken by these firms as bogus VAT refund.

On being asked about the names of owners of these firms, he said those were still to be disclosed.

DETC Rishi Pal Singh, heading the investigating committee, said the report would come in a month, but he refused to accept that the bogus refund was made to these firms.

Reddy told HT that at the initial stage it was difficult to pinpoint anything. "Only investigation report would reveal how much the state exchequer money had been bungled," he added.

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