The Gujarat commercial tax officials have unveiled a new modus operandi to evade tax which the department suspects is practiced by many agro-commodity traders in the state. The officials have found that many traders, with help of farmers and bogus papers, evade VAT duty on agro commodities like groundnut and others which are used for oil extraction.
VAT officials said that many traders do not show the purchase of the products which are sold without bill after processing. The officials on Tuesday cracked down on 19 groundnut traders in Vyara and Mangrol where officials suspect large-scale VAT evasion has been done using this modus operandi.
"Truck loads of such agro-commodities enter the state along with a farmer. When intercepted at the check-post, this farmer would say that the truck is carrying produce from his farm which he is taking to an agricultural mandi. In many cases, a trader's man would impersonate himself as a farmer when caught. But actually the consignment is for the trader who would not show his purchase and would sell the product in the market after processing it," said a senior commercial tax official.
Officials said that during operations carried out on traders in Vyara, it has been found that many of them bring groundnut consignments from Rajasthan this way to evade the five per cent tax.
"At almost all the places raided during those operations, we have found large discrepancies in the actual stock of groundnut and the one shown in account books. The operation is likely to continue till Thursday as we suspect large-scale tax evasion by these traders," the official said.