CBI to probe alleged tax evasion by granite firms in Karimnagar

Warangal: The CBI has decided to carry out a detailed investigation into the allegations of tax evasion by granite companies based in Karimnagar, sources said.

The Enforcement Directorate had written to the CBI about the irregularities committed by the companies in not paying the relevant taxes on the earnings from the export of granite blocks. The CBI consulted judicial experts on the ED’s letter and decided to carry out the investigation in Karimnagar in association with its local officials.

In November, about 10 teams of officials from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and income-tax (IT) departments raided the houses of minister Gangula Kamalakar and his relatives, alleging that their firms had violated Fema norms, as also granite companies in Baopet of Kothapally mandal in Karimnagar district.

Two years ago, BJP state chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar, who is the Karimnagar MP, party leader Perala Shekar and advocate Bethi Mahendar Reddy had lodged complaint against the granite companies allegedly violating Foreign Exchange Management Act (Fema) rules.

Following this, officials of the vigilance and enforcement (V&E) directorate examined the exports at the Kakinada, Krishnapatnam, Chennai and Visakhapatnam ports and submitted a report — 60, c No. 268/NRI/2013.

The V&D directorate learnt that the companies were diveting their export earnings into the bank accounts of their employees to escape paying tax. They also procured receipts showing that they had borrowed money from their buyers, instead of bills for the payment of granite.

The officials also found that the companies mentioned smaller sizes of the granite blocks to the mines department but larger blocks were actually exported.

The directorate issued notice to Swetha Agencies, AS Shipping Private Limited, JM Boxy Company, Mythali Adithya, KVK Agencies, Aravind Granites and Sandhya Agencies.

The V&E directorate recommended that the mines department collect a total penalty of Rs 749 crore from the respective agencies and granite companies along with seigniorage fee of Rs 124 crore as per Rule 26 (3)/ (i) (ii), AP MMC 1996 Act.

This was followed by the Enforcement Directorate and income-tax department raids in November.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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