Nitish govt plans to probe revenue loss, targets BJP

State incurred loss of Rs 50 crore in former Finance Minister's tenure

With acrimony between former NDA partners – JD(U) and BJP – only increasing, the Bihar government on Friday  announced it would order a high level inquiry into revenue loss of about Rs 50 crore to the state due to arbitrary lowering of VAT during tenure of former Finance Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.

In reply to a call attention motion of Congress Legislature Party leader Sadanand Singh, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav said a high-level inquiry would be ordered soon into the matter.

He, however, did not specify as to who would conduct the probe and the time-frame for it. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was present in the Assembly when the matter came up.

The Congress leader raised the issue of revenue loss to the state to the tune of about Rs 50 crore due to arbitrary lowering VAT under the then finance minister Sushil Kumar Modi during 2007 and June 2013. While the Cabinet approved VAT rate was 12.5 per cent on PWD works, only 12 per cent was collected during the period, the questionnaire said.

Sushil Kumar Modi, who was Deputy Chief Minister during NDA government in the state, held Finance portfolio during both NDA I and NDA II till BJP remained part of the Nitish Kumar ministry. The probe announcement is seen in the political circle as result of increasing acrimony between former NDA allies.

Sushil Modi and BJP has launched a sustained campaign against Nitish Kumar government on various issues. Even on Friday, the BJP legislators were in the well of the House under leader of opposition Nand Kishore Yadav, demanding an inquiry by either RAW or CBI into multiple explosions during October 27 rally addressed by party prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi.

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