In a surprise move, Income Tax officials swooped down on many production houses in the early hours of Wednesday, including that of Suresh Babu, Nani and a big production house.
Interestingly, no one was present at Suresh Babu’s office or home. “Suresh Babu and his son Rana are in the US while his wife is also out of town. Only his mother was at home when the officers raided their house,” says a source, who reveals that they also raided Rama Naidu studios and Suresh Babu’s brother, Venkatesh’s house.
The senior producer may have come under the scanner as he has bankrolled many films of late and has also bought many other language films to remake in Telugu. However, industry folks opine that since he is very careful about his accounts, the officials are unlikely to recover any incriminating evidence against him.
Also in the spotlight is Nani, one of the busiest actors in the industry, who recently set up his own production house. “He produced a couple of films recently and is taking home a good remuneration, which could have prompted the officials to raid his house,” says a source, adding that the actor’s alleged tax evasion over his profit share for Jersey is under scrutiny.
Buzz is that the production house Haarika and Haasini Creations and its sister concern Sithara Entertainments were also raided. “They have produced several big movies, especially with Pawan Kalyan and top director Trivikram Srinivas,” says the source.
The production house came into the limelight after they officially entered the Hindi film industry with the remake of Jersey.
“Apart from this, they are also co-producing a big film that stars Allu Arjun and a couple of other films. Since huge business deals are involved with their films, I-T sleuths want to investigate whether they are paying tax on those deals or not,” informs the source.
Given that Telugu films are in big demand to be dubbed into Hindi and for the digital channels, production houses are making huge profits. “That’s why the Income Tax department wants to check on the industry folks here,” explains a source, adding that only a few days ago, officials raided Sunil Narang of Global Cinemas along with a couple of others.
Meanwhile, a source from the I-T office says, “The officials found faults in the I-T returns of the last three years filed by these production houses and actors, so they decided to scrutinise their accounts.” That number may only rise in the coming days.