Punjab Excise and Taxation Department has unearthed a scandal at the barriers (Information Collection Centres), wherein some of the inspectors and data entry operators were conniving with the dealers to change the value or the nature of the commodity which had crossed the barrier.
Confirming this, excise and taxation commissioner Anurag Verma informed that on a complaint, an enquiry was got conducted by asstt excise and taxation commissioner SS Bangra. On scrutiny of the computer record, it was found that on June 2012, an entry regarding vehicle No PB-10-BF-8655 carrying hosiery goods worth Rs 2.59 lakh was made at ICC, Ludhiana Railway Station.
Pawan Sood, the inspector on duty, passed the goods but did not finally submit the entry into the computer record. Rather, he kept the entry pending and subsequently, he changed the commodity from hosiery goods to knitted cloth worth Rs 1.46 lakh.
Hosiery goods are taxable at the rate of 6.05 per cent whereas knitted cloth is a tax free item.
On further scrutiny of record, it was found that this inspector was in the habit of indulging in such practice and over a period of last three months, he had changed around 30 such entries, amounting to approximately Rs 1.10 crore.
After this enquiry, Sood has been placed under suspension.
Another such inspector Naresh Kumar, who had also been found to be indulging in similar malpractice has been shunted out from ICC, Shamboo (Export) to Gurdaspur.
Verma said the department had engaged document clearance executives in order to assist the taxation staff at the barriers. Twelve such document clearance executives were found to be indulging in such malpractice by
On October 10, 2012, a truck passed ICC, Khanauri and an entry was made in the computer that auto parts worth about Rs 14.60 lakh were loaded in it. But on October 12, 2012, Ajay Kumar, document clearance executive changed the nature of commodity from auto parts to waste yarn and
reduced the amount to 1.8 lakh. Autoparts are taxable at the rate of 14.30 per cent and waste yarn is taxable at the rate of 6.05 per cent.
Verma said Bangra's enquiry has revealed that over last three months, entries amounting to Rs 40 crore have been changed.
He said he has taken a very serious view of the matter and apart from suspending the Inspectors, the services of these 12 document clearance executives have been dispensed with.
He has asked addl excise and taxation commissioner SDS Dhillon to examine the possibility of lodging an FIR in the matter against the inspectors, document clearance executives and most importantly the traders who were the beneficiary of this malpractice.
Verma said if anybody wants to bring any tax evasion to his notice, he can do so by sending an email to his ID firstname.lastname@example.org and added that the department is adopting a two pronged strategy-first the department is taking all possible steps to make life simpler for honest tax payers and second at the same time, the department will come down very heavily on anybody who tries to defraud the State of its legitimate revenues.