One more businessman has been arrested by the Central excise and service tax department for evading service tax to the tune of Rs 70 lakh. Keshav Alwa was arrested on Saturday after he failed to deposit service tax for three years. R A Menon, superintendent, preventive arresting officer, Vadodara 1, arrested Alwa. He is the third businessman to be arrested in the city for evading service tax in the last one month.
Alwa is in the business of industrial catering and owns a firm called M/s Super Hospitality Private Ltd. The firm's dues were pending from April 2010 to September 2013. "We arrested him as his service tax dues were pending for a period of over six months," Menon said. Excise officials said in the coming days there will a few more arrests of businessmen, who haven't paid their service tax dues. The department wants to send a strong message to the defaulters that evasion of service tax won't be tolerated.
The Central excise and service tax department had arrested a businessman on March 14 for evading service tax to the tune of Rs 2.56 crore. Narendra Bhagat, proprietor of M/s Patel Engineering Services, had been charging service tax from his customers since 2010-11. But he didn't deposit the tax amount with the department. Patel Engineering Services provides services of survey and exploration of minerals.
The department made its first ever arrest in connection with service tax default on February 18. Devanand Gupta of M/s Steel Engineering Services was arrested for defaulting on service tax of Rs 50 lakh. Central excise and service tax department officials said they now have the powers to arrest people, who have defaulted on service tax of more than Rs 50 lakh for over six months.