Published On : Tue, Dec 11th, 2012

Oriental under I-T scanner for under showing toll revenues

Nagpur News : After a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation two years ago, Oriental Structural Engineers, the company that was also in news for the controversial toll plaza on way to Butibori, had an income tax raid on its premises on Monday.

Taxmen were suspecting under-reporting of toll tax collected from commuters by this company that makes roads on built operate transfer (BOT) basis. The action, which originated from Delhi, covered company’s premises in Nagpur also. Tax sleuths also swooped on a city-based company M/s D P Jain Pvt Ltd having its business ties with Oriental Structures. M/s D P Jain, having an office at Law College square, is run by brothers Deepak and Girish Jain and has taken up assignments as sub-contractors of Oriental Structures.

However, when contacted, one of the directors Deepak Jain claimed ignorance of any such action by income tax though tax sleuths confirmed the raid.

Having Delhi-based businessman Kanwaljit Singh at the helm, Oriental Structures faced CBI action in 2010 as this agency probed into an alleged case of kickbacks for bagging the Nagpur-Betul highway project from National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). CBI recovered cash worth over Rs 2 crore from a couple of NHAI officials’ homes.

An income tax source who refused to divulge much said, “the Nagpur office is coordinating with the team in Delhi from where the raid has originated. This is one of the major actions, with five premises including the toll plazas being covered. However, since the team only conducted a survey, no assets were seized as it happens in a search operation. The relevant documents were impounded.”

The taxmen are also probing into a likely inflation of expenditure so as to bring down the profits apart from looking into the aspect of under-reporting of receipts in the form of toll tax.

Oriental has taken up substantial works around Nagpur including the outer ring-road which was constructed on built operate and transfer (BOT) basis. A toll plaza built at Dongagaon on way to Butibori industrial township had led to litigation against this company. The Butibori Manufacturers Association (BMA), had moved the High Court contending that the toll booth was located much before the road built by Oriental Structures. So vehicles going to Butibori without using the outer-ring road ahead were also being charged the toll. The High Court ordered removal of the booth and BMA’s stance was upheld by the Supreme Court too.