PIL in HC against Nitish, his former deputy for reducing VAT on stone chips, boulders
September, 10th 2014
An RTI activist on Tuesday filed a PIL in Patna High Court against former Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, current finance minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav and secretaries concerned for “causing loss of hundreds of crore of rupees” to the state exchequer by bringing down VAT on stone chips, boulders and ballasts from 12.5 per cent to four per cent.
The PIL alleges that the VAT rate was brought down in violation of norms to benefit businessmen and was not reverted despite the state government’s assurance in January 2013 after Bihar auditor general report pointed out the violation. The VAT was reduced in 2007 when Sushil Kumar Modi was finance minister and the new rates came into effect from October 2007.
The petitioner Shiv Prakash Rai said the then CM was made party in the PIL because he headed the government then and also held the finance portfolio after NDA split in June 2013. Present finance minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav’s name was included as he also failed to revert the VAT move. Rai alleged that VAT on several other items was reduced in violation of norms.
“The cumulative yearly loss because of these reductions will not be less than Rs 100 crore in a year,” he said. Sushil Kumar Modi said: “I am out of power and do not know details of the case. I will answer all queries if details are sent to me. It is up to up to the state government to defend.”
On the other hand, JD(U) national spokesperson K C Tyagi said: “These are technical matters pertaining to policy decisions. Experts in the government will be competent to come up with befitting rebuttals.