Ad tax scandal: BJP seeks probe into MC commissioner’s role

Bharatiya Janata Party senior leader and Punjab State Investor Cell chief Sukhminderpal Singh Grewal today questioned the slow pace of the probe into the Rs 752-crore advertisement tax scandal.

Written by Express News Service | Ludhiana | Published:February 19, 2009 2:17 am

Bharatiya Janata Party senior leader and Punjab State Investor Cell chief Sukhminderpal Singh Grewal today questioned the slow pace of the probe into the Rs 752-crore advertisement tax scandal. He also blamed commissioner G S Ghuman for the delay.

Grewal was addressing a press conference at the commissioner’s office today,where he had gone to submit a memorandum. The commissioner,however,was not present in office. Talking to the mediapersons,Grewal said Ghuman was shielding the corrupt and erring officials,who had milked the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for past six years.

Grewal said he would file a formal complaint with the Punjab Vigilance Bureau to ensure swift investigation into the scandal.

Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal had earlier ordered an inquiry into the Rs 752 crore advertisement tax scandal and entrusted the MC commissioner to investigate into the matter,in a Sangat Darshan on November 8,last year.

Grewal said that oil marketing companies in connivance with the advertisement mafia and officers of the MCs of Punjab have installed flex hoardings over petrol pumps,but have not paid any advertisement tax till yet.

He said,over 68,388 retail outlets across the country,of which 5,226 retail outlets are commissioned in Punjab have erected flex hoardings with an average advertising space of 1,000 square feet,which means advertisement tax on 52,26000 square feet space. This is fleeced by these OMCs and the advertisement mafia.

“This accounts a whopping loss of over Rs 125 crore per annum to the Punjab government alone,” he said.

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