I held a departmental meeting today. I have asked two Accounts Officers to prepare me a note on the tax liability of Development Authorities. I mentioned that as a govt department, we must insist that all our attached offices should pay taxes & duties as per law. In fact I was shocked to learn that Asansol Durgapur Development Authority had their bank accounts attached by the Income Tax Authority at Durgapur who later has forfeited Rs 24 crores.
Today's Statesman carried an editorial; I reproduce a part of it:
That ADDA simply got away without paying tax for the past 30 years is a puzzle that may not be easy for the next government to work out. The present never had the inclination ~ and now doesn’t have the time ~ to get to the root of the default. ADDA’s explanation that it is engaged in development and not to earn profit sounds contrived and feeble; rightly has it cut no ice with the Union ministry of finance.
(The Statesman dt 21 March 2011)
I have also come to know that KMDA receives IT notices and they are in touch with legal firm. I was told that SJDA's accounts were also attached some time back. *
Strangely, and pitifully, there is no file or reference in the UD Department. No officer seemed to know anything about it, not to speak of the IT Tax Amendment carried out in 2002 or so that withdrew the exemption given to Development Authorities.
I hope the Accounts Officers come up with a clear note soon.
(*HDA is sending a note to me; I have deleted the reference to HDA)