Kashmir Inc For Strict Action Against Chronic Tax Defaulters

15 March 2015
Greater Kashmir
Mukeet Akmali

Srinagar: With Commercial Tax department failing to initiate action against chronic tax defaulters, mostly comprising government agencies and political bigwigs, the business community here has called for immediate and strict action by the department in this regard. There are more than 9000 commercial tax defaulters mostly comprising government corporations, political bigwigs and influential businessmen in Kashmir. This includes 5000 defaulters declared non-traceable. President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh Ashiq said that strict action against the tax defaulters including the government agencies should be taken. 'Commercial tax is public money to be used for welfare of the society. The department should not have been so lax as to allow hundreds of crores of rupees into arrears,' Ashiq said. He said that PDP-led government should act strictly against the chronic defaulters. President, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, Muhammad Yaseen Khan said: 'To act against chronic tax defaulters is a test for PDP-led government which has promised accountability in the system. So it is to be seen whether the new government would act against the defaulters who mostly belong to political circles.' In Kashmir there are around 9000 defaulters, of which some are in arrears above Rs 1 crore each. Among the defaulters are: State-owned JK Tourism Development Corporation Rs 3,66,27,326, JKPCC Rs 3,64,59,317, JK Cooperative Consumer Federation Rs 2,69,70821, JK Minerals Rs 8,32,10,360 and JK Industries Rs 1,14,65,447. While the state-owned agencies are among the chronic defaulters, some influential businessmen and political leaders are in no way different. Leading the list of defaulters among businessmen are: Highland Automobiles Rs 9 crore, Fairdeal Traders Rs 1,13,97,240, Mir Sons Rs 3,04,62,175, Ess Aay Traders Lethpora Rs 3,17,36,990, Irfan and Co Rs 3,89,43,278 and Goodwill traders Rs 1,01,20,174. The list of chronic tax defaulters include CDS Badami Bagh which owes a whopping Rs 8,00,90,215 crore to the commercial taxes department. Talking to Greater Kashmir, Commissioner Commercial Tax department, Zaffar Ahmad said that while the proceedings against defaulters are going on, it is lengthy process which involves various legal tangles. 'We are continuously sending notices to the defaulters. In some cases we have also seized the bank accounts of defaulters,' he said.