Deccan Chronicle

Raids on 3 Telangana infra firms raise eyebrows

Deccan Chronicle.| N. Vamsi Srinivas

Published on: March 19, 2022 | Updated on: March 20, 2022

These companies including KNR Infra have been executing several civil projects in Telangana for the government

Enforcement Directorate. (Photo: Representational Image)

Enforcement Directorate. (Photo: Representational Image)

Hyderabad: The recent action of the Central agencies on three city-based infra companies have raised many an eyebrow.

These companies including KNR Infra have been executing several civil projects in Telangana for the government.

Official sources told Deccan Chronicle that income-tax sleuths raided the offices of KNR Infra three days ago and searches were still on. The company is owned by a low-profile contractor from Warangal, K. Narasimha Reddy, and has earned a good name in executing national highway projects and entered the irrigation projects sector.

Sources said about Rs 5,000 cr worth irrigation works were alloted to KNR Infra in 2018 and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao was said to have been highly appreciative of the company’s performance and delivery of results.

Sources in the infrastructure circles speculated whether or not the raids are linked to the just-concluded Uttar Pradesh elections. Sources said the the IT department had conducted raids on city-based infra companies a few years ago in the aftermath of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan polls. The IT department even released an official press release that Rs 3,000 crore unaccounted money was found with a top infra company.

Significantly, the TRS supremo was closely involved in Samajwadi Party’s electioneering in UP. Sources close to the Chief Minister said he got surveys conducted for SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and extended all possible help as part of building an alternative to Modi-led NDA government at the Centre. He even gave a clarion call of "BJP mukt Bharat".

Sources also revealed that the Goods and Services Tax authorities put their lens on another infra firm which has been executing irrigation works in Telangana. This engineering company is said to have been run by proxy for the promoters of an IT and infra company which got busted a decade ago.

The GST authorities are said to have been probing into the outflow of funds from the company and examining if any payments were made in the name of sub contracts.

"We don’t know about this company yet but several infra firms were found routing money in the name of fictitious sub-contractors," an official said.

Sources said the Enforcement Directorate had interrogated the director of another city-based infra company a few months ago. This company is the front for promoters of a popular company which later changed hands. The ED is said to be probing into loan of hundreds of crores raised by this infra company without proper guarantees from Yes Bank a few months before the 2018 polls. Yes Bank later ran into trouble for heavy debt exposure.

The ruling party leadership is not perturbed over the recent developments. "We are anticipating this and our leader KCR had already made public the ill intentions of the BJP and it’s possible use of allies — IT, CBI and ED — against political opponents," said a senior minister who attended an urgent meeting called by Chandrashekar Rao at his farmhouse at Erravelli earlier in the day.

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