August 22, 2021 2:53:20 am
PRIOR TO the internal probe pertaining to the tax evasion at Apple Market, Sector 20, the CID wing of Haryana Police had highlighted the evasion of around Rs 2.50 crore market fee along with Haryana Resource Development Fund (HRDF) in every season in September 2020.
The CID team had mentioned in its report that the period between August and September is the peak season for the trade in apple crops and there was evasion of market fee of Rs 2.70 lakh every day. The market committee is liable to recover 2 per cent of the market fee on the total cost of apples per kg. In the report, accessed by The Indian Express, CID officials even named certain market committee officials for the tax evasion.
The CID wing had also concluded that certain officials of the market committee were charging illegal money ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 1,000 from the vendors running tea stalls, barber shops and selling grocery items. Moreover, the CID had pointed out that gratification was also taken from the retailers for renewing their licences at the Apple Market.
The CID report signed by the then Additional Police Director, Alok Mittal, was shared with the Haryana State Agriculture and Marketing Board (HSAMB) officials in September 2020.
A team of CID personnel, who had secretly visited the Apple Market, concluded that around 25 to 35 per cent of apple boxes were being sold to retailers by the commission agents without showing any entry in the registers of the Market Committee.
The Chief Administrator, HSAMB, Vinay Singh, said, “The intelligence report was compiled before I took charge of HSAMB. I also reviewed this report after getting the findings of my internal committee, which also found various flaws in the functioning of the Apple Market, Sector 20. We are in the process of identifying the culprits on the basis of the internal committee findings.”
An internal committee of 11 members had paid a 36-hour-long surprise visit to the Apple Market between August 13 and 15. They had concluded the evasion of market fee/HRDF at the market. They found CCTV cameras installed at the market were not functional. Two of the gates out of three were unattended. The entry register, stock registers were not maintained.
However, Vijay Bansal, former chairman of Shivalik Development Board, said, “The HSAMB officials are deliberately not taking action against the responsible staff members for evading the crores of market fee. The state government should take cognisance of these two reports of CID and internal committee, and initiate strict legal action in this connection.”
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