JPC pulls up CBDT over 2G

The members of Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Wednesday pulled up the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) over the tardy progress in investigating role of companies in the 2G spectrum scam.

During the three hour meeting of the committee, where Revenue Secretary R S Gujral along with CBTD and I-T department officials attended, members expressed unhappiness over the delay in completing the investigation.

Out of nine companies, the Income-Tax assessment had been completed of only two companies-Reliance Telecom and Tata Realty and Infra Limited. However, the CBDT officials promised the panel that the probe would be completed by March 2013, regarding rest of the companies-Unitech Group, Etisalat DB Telecom, Videocon Telecom, Telenor Norway, Loop Telecom, Cineyug and Kalaignar TV.

During the presentation before the Committee, the CBDT chairman Laksman Dass said that Kalaignar TV, promoted by the family of former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi, had allegedly received Rs 52 crore from 18 Kolkata-based firms which are suspected to be “fictitious”.  However the probe is on to ascertain antecedents of these companies.

Earlier, the CBI had indicted Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi of having taken bribe to the tune of Rs 200 crore, which was routed to Kalaignar TV, in which she has 20 per cent stake.  JPC chairman P C Chacko told reporters that the CBDT in its presentation said that though the Kalaignar TV claimed that it had borrowed Rs 200 crore from various sources in lieu of shares which were actually not allotted. Interestingly, despite the Kalaignar TV claiming that it has received Rs 52 crore from a Kolkata-based 18 companies to return Rs 200 crore loan, these firms did not existed. Even the CBDT did not found the balance sheets of these companies leading to suspecting that they were bogus.  

The CBDT also said that Reliance Telecom has allegedly paid taxes on capital gain to the tune of little over Rs 10 crore on investment made in the shares of Swan Telecom Ltd and its subsequent sale to DB Group.

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