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Himachal
Six industrial firms, one big scam
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

The modus operandi

The owners of these firms got plots for setting up industrial units. Instead of setting up production units, they sold the imported raw material on the black market after getting it offloaded at Kandla port (Gujarat) itself. In papers, however, it was shown that the raw material was transported to the industrial units (actually non-existent) to get transport subsidy on transport of raw material from the state government. Subsidy on transportation of finished products by showing fake documents could also have been availed of by these firms.

Dharamsala, June 27
A fraud involving an illegal business of around Rs 200 crore over the past six years has come to light in Una and Bilaspur districts of Himachal Pradesh.

The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, Dharamsala range, has registered a criminal case in this regard at the Una police station against six industrial firms. The investigation has been handed over to the special investigation unit of the bureau.

SP Prem Kumar Thakur, who is in charge of the Dharamsala range of the bureau, said Sri Ganesh Enterprises, Luxmi Narayan Enterprises, Mahaveer Chemical Company, Sai Chemical Company and Hare Krishna Chemical Company were allotted plots at Tahliwal in Una district, while Siya Ram Enterprises had got a plot at Bilaspur for setting up industrial units. However, no such unit had been set up by any of these firms so far, he added.

These firms also got allotted general sales tax (GST) and central sales tax (CST) numbers in connivance with officials concerned of the industry, sales and taxation departments in 2001.

Preliminary investigations by Virender Kanwar, SP of the special investigation unit of the bureau, have revealed that taking advantage of these GST and CST numbers, these industries had shown in papers that raw material worth Rs 1,69,34,90,548 was brought to their units (not in existence) for manufacturing products.

However, no entry of this raw material was found in the entry registers at the inter-state tax barriers. In fact, there are no manufacturing units of these firms in the hill state and all this was done to get benefit of tax holiday and incentive of the state government extended to it by the Union Government for inter-state transportation of industrial produce.

Preliminary investigations revealed that apart from carrying on illegal business, these firms caused direct loss of around Rs 1.69 crore to the state government by getting tax benefits on forged documents. As per the FIR, these firms also procured C-forms from the Excise and Taxation Department from time to time during the past six years to get subsidy on forged documents in connivance with senior officials of the department. After getting subsidy, these forms were destroyed by spreading ink and chemicals on them to cover up the fraud.

“The possibility of the involvement of senior officials of the industry and the excise and taxation departments cannot be ruled out,” Thakur said.

Meanwhile, investigations by The Tribune revealed that all these firms were floated by a single family.

The owner of Sri Ganesh Enterprises is Manish Mohindru, son of Harish Mohindru; Luxmi Narayan Enterprises is owned by Sanjiv Mohindru, son of Vidhya Sagar Mohindru; Mahaveer Chemical Company by Harish Mohindru; Sai Chemical Company by Bimal Kumar; Hare Krishna Chemical Company by Anita Kumari (all residents of New Delhi); and Siya Ram Enterprises is owned by Harish Kumar, a resident of Mani Majra, Chandigarh.

These firms were registered for production of petrochemical-based products and had got tax benefit on import of raw material. The imported raw material was allegedly sold to other industrial units at the port itself. These firms never brought the raw material to Himachal Pradesh.

Going by the FIR, the total value of the raw material shown in the papers brought to the state was Rs 169.34 crore. The net sale price of it could be more than Rs 200 crore. No arrests has been made in connection with the case so far. However, Thakur confirmed that the owners of these firms had been summoned to appear before the special investigation unit of the bureau. Officials of the industry, sales and taxation departments would also be summoned for questioning.

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