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Book 13 tax inspectors for conniving with VAT evaders: Probe report
December, 19th 2013

In yet another candid confession that employees of the state excise and taxation department connived with traders to evade tax worth crores of rupees, an internal inquiry conducted by the department into the VAT evasion scam by two Ludhiana firms has recommended registration of FIR against its own employees.

The departmental probe has found that erring taxation inspectors, who were posted at various interstate barriers, had allegedly facilitated evaders, who showed that goods worth crores were being transported to Rajasthan on "non-existent" vehicles. The inquiry has recommended that criminal cases should be registered against at least 13 such inspectors, from whose login IDs, bogus entries were made in the official computers installed at interstate barriers.

"These bogus entries are an irregularity of criminal FIR for committing fraud on state should be lodged against all the taxation inspectors without delay," recommended the probe, conducted by assistant excise and taxation commissioner S S Bangar.

Sources said that these inspectors were deputed at important information collection centres at interstate borders and it was their primary job to check whether the goods were physically exported to other states out of Punjab and vice-versa.

The action has been recommended after department officials, while randomly tracing suspicion transactions at interstate barriers, had found that two Ludhiana-based firms had evaded VAT by showing that they were transporting goods to other states on vehicles which do not exist in records of transport authorities. The firms, dealing in daily provision goods, had shown movement of goods worth Rs 28 crore to Sikar-based dealers in Rajasthan.

The scam was exposed only after officials found that all vehicles transporting goods of these firms were having Rajasthan registration numbers and were never used to transport goods of any other firms from Punjab to Rajasthan and vice-versa. Following this, the officials had requested district transport officers (DTO) of five districts of Rajasthan to verify status of the vehicles, which revealed that at least three of the vehicles used were "non-existent".

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