Accusing the Badal family-linked Fastway cable network of causing a loss of Rs 684 crore to the state exchequer by not paying taxes during the previous government’s tenure, Punjab Local Bodies and Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday indicated action against the network.
Sidhu was responding to a question by party legislator Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on losses suffered by state on laying the cable network, on the concluding day of the budget session.
Stating that his department had issued notices of tax evasion to the network operators, Sidhu said it was now over to CM Amarinder Singh to register an FIR and initiate Vigilance inquiry against the operators. Amarinder was not present in the House.
Later, addressing the media, Sidhu said his department had started issuing notices and the company would be charged for use of poles, entertainment tax and cutting of roads for laying the cables.”
He claimed the company was showing only 1,25,000 connections across the state, but in reality there are over 80 lakh TVs in Punjab. “Punjab has more than 8,000 cable operators, of which 6,500 are directly under Fastway,” he claimed.