Sunday, March 2, 2014

Comparing LBT, octroi data unearths huge evasion

The Nagpur Municipal Corporation's (NMC) local body tax (LBT) department has unearthed its biggest-ever evasion case, netting a big pharmaceutical company. The department also caught an iron small scale industry for evading LBT. The two cases were unearthed by comparing data of octroi and LBT.

NMC sources told TOI many big traders evading LBT are set to come under the scanner in the coming days. "LBT department led by assistant commissioner Milind Meshram has consolidated data of octroi and started to compare returns of traders registered under LBT and their payments. The two cases unearthed on Thursday were the result of comparison of octroi and LBT data," sources said.

A senior NMC official told TOI that search and seizure operation was conducted on Nitika Pharmaceutical situated at Wanjara Industrial Area, Kamptee Road, and on Khandelwal Iron Udyog, Great Nag road. LBT squad seized documents from Nitika Pharmaceutical and found that chemicals worth Rs16.52 crore were imported into the plant between April 1, 2013, and January 31, 2014.

"Nitika Pharmaceuticals was supposed to pay LBT of 2.5% on Rs16.52 crore. But Nitika Pharmaceutical has paid only Rs7 lakh up to August 2013, thus evading LBT. The total LBT cess supposed to be paid comes to Rs41.30 lakh. Now, 2% interest per month will be collected for delay in payment. Besides, 2% penalty will be levied in case records are not maintained properly," the official said.

The official added that Khandelwal Udyog did not pay a single penny as LBT since April 1, 2013. "Records seized during the operation revealed that the industry had turnover of Rs3.83 crore up to January 31, 2014. Process to count the exact LBT dues is going on," the official said.

A few days ago, the LBT department had conducted search and seizure operation on Tristar Business Group's 21 outlets and found turnover of around Rs10 crore.

NMC is facing revenue deficit of Rs110 crore due to non-cooperation from traders. Despite getting ample time, some traders are yet to ensure registration and make payment for import of goods or turnover.

The total revenue from LBT this fiscal from April 1 to January 31 was Rs283.20 crore as against Rs393.86 crore last year. The revenue includes stamp duty collection and also transit pass. The civic body is estimating revenue from LBT to be more than octroi in case all traders follow the norms. With less than two months left, it's almost impossible for NMC to achieve the target of Rs540 crore from LBT.

Source : TOI