GST Intelligence has arrested a partner in a Hisar-based firm in connection with tax evasion on cotton amounting crores. The arrest was made after detailed investigations by the intelligence agency following a Haryana activist allegations of GST evasion worth Rs 300 crore in Haryana.
The accused, identified as Manish Kumar, is a partner in Hisar’s M/s Sushil Kumar Munish Kumar firm and controller of the same firm in Ahmedabad. According to a press release issued by GST Intelligence Joint Director Niranjan CC, the accused was arrested on Friday and produced before a Delhi court, which sent him to judicial custody.
“Both firms had taken ITC (input tax credit) to the tune of more than Rs 16 crore fraudulently. During investigations conducted so far into the fake billing racket in the cotton industry, the DGGI headquarters has recovered an amount of Rs 28 crore towards the GST evaded,” said the press release.
An activist from Haryana’s Jhajjar district, Ram Kanwar, had been raising this issue for the past year.
According to Kanwar, a farmer brings cotton to the market which is operated by the market committee to sell their produce through commission agents. “But in reality, more than 70% of cotton is purchased on bogus bills,” alleged Kanwar, a retired scientist from CCS Haryana Agriculture University, in one of his letters to government agencies.
According to Kanwar, the bogus bills are created by purchasing high tax rate goods such as steel and sugar. Kanwar said that he also met Deputy Director of GST Intelligence Ram Dhan Dagar about the matter.
Kanwar told The Indian Express that GST Intelligence had carried out raids in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat in connection with the racket in February this year. In the same month, the Haryana government had informed the Assembly that it has handed over as many as 45 FIRs to the state Crime Branch of the police for thorough investigation in connection with the GST scams. These 45 FIRs were lodged against bogus dealers, of which 17 FIRs pertain to dealers dealing in cotton business in January.
Haryana Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu had told the Assembly that implementation of GST is one of the biggest tax reforms of the country leading towards ‘one nation, one tax, one market’. “It provides a facility to all the firms/ dealers to claim input tax credit (ITC) throughout the country by way of filing online returns. Some unscrupulous elements try to take benefit of this facility to gain illegitimate benefit of tax by registering fake firms in different parts of the country and issuing bogus invoices from one firm to another without actually supply of goods,” he had stated in Assembly in reply to a question asked by Congress MLA Karan Singh Dalal.