The swoop of Income Tax (IT) department on the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA),which is in the eye of storm for minting crores of rupees on account of interest on nearly Rs 9,400 crore collected on account of earnest money from over 3 lakh applicants for its much-hyped Aerocity scheme,has not gone down well with the Punjab government.

Attributing it to “undermining” the authority of state’s statutory body and “defaming” it in the public domain,Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has taken exception to the IT survey on GMADA last week and reportedly approached the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee seeking Centre’s intervention in what he also felt may lead to further “strain” Centre-state relations.

Though GMADA had already deposited Rs 15 crore on account of advance tax to IT after the survey but the CM has reportedly written to Mukherjee that “the IT action against GMADA has created an unsavoury situation and breed mistrust between Central and State agencies”.

Calling IT surveys and raids as “extreme steps taken as last resort”,Badal,who is also GMADA Chairman,further wrote,“Such action was warranted if GMADA had not supplied any information,clarification or documentary evidence,if,as and when desired by IT people,but instead,they took the government body at par with private people,which may try to hide actual information and income accounts”.

It is learnt that Badal took up the matter with Centre after GMADA submitted a report on IT survey to CM,intimating him the sequence of events that led to the IT action and deposit of Rs 15 crore on account of advance tax even when GMADA was sure that it will not make it to such income as IT officials calculated tentatively for the current fiscal year.

“It was a difference of opinion as we felt we will not earn any such income for which we are required to pay advance tax but IT officials felt otherwise asking us for payment,” revealed a senior GMADA official,while admitting that there was no loss as such to GMADA because if after the end of fiscal year,their income failed to match for what IT officials had got deposit,their amount will be refunded with interest.

While GMADA officials claimed that IT officials have not yet pointed out any discrepancy or irregularity as such detected in their accounts scrutinized during the survey,IT Commissioner-II Pawan Parmar remained incommunicado despite repeated calls and messages.

Read full article: Indian Express

By praful

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