The Gujarat commercial tax officials cracked down on seven traders involved in illegal sand mining in the state. Tax sleuths along with officials of mines and minerals department carried out searches on offices of the miners near Surat.
During the operation which went on till late Saturday evening, tax sleuths seized eight trucks in which the traders were sending illegally mined sand in cement bags to Mumbai. Officials said that five per cent Vat is levied on sales of sand.
"These traders illegally mined sand from the bank of Tapi and then sold them outside the state. Primary investigations have revealed that all the worth of trade is never taken into account and thus, we suspect a large-scale tax evasion. However, in the account books we have found that even for the regular business they had under quoted the turnover," said a senior commercial tax department. Officials said that illegal sand quarrying in the villages in and around Tapi in Surat has become rampant.
"We suspect a large-scale tax evasion as all the traders covered in the operation is believed to be extracting hundreds of truck loads of sand illegally every month. The mining department has currently seized their account books and other papers, on the basis of which the tax evasion will be assessed," the official added.