The Central GST Department conducted search operations at many city firms mainly dealing with yarn and related products. Though the officials concerned are tightlipped over the raids, which are still on, it is learnt that over half a dozen leading firms are under the scanner of the GST Department. Meanwhile, searches are on in a few small firms too. GST commissioner Ashutosh Barnwal said searches were still going on but refused to divulge the details. He said: “Bear with us for at least 24 hours as searches are still going on. Sharing information at this hour will hamper the operations.”
Reportedly, the teams comprising as many as 150 officials arrived from Delhi after getting vital information regarding “fake invoices”. It is one of the biggest crackdowns on yarn firms. Sources said searches were conducted at many firms, including ST Cottex, Ganga Acro, Garg Acrylic, Sportking and one owned by Vardhman Group, etc. Speculations are rife that the searches are being conducted at the companies that had bought goods, especially cotton on fake GST bills from Haryana.
There are reports that most spinning mills in Ludhiana buy raw cotton at lower than the actual market prices by evading state taxes. So far, the departments had found fake GST bills on steel and iron but now the yarn and readymade garment industry is too under scanner of the GST Department. A trader in yarn industry, preferring anonymity, said a number of spinning mills in Ludhiana get cotton in an illegal manner, without paying proper taxes and mandi fees, etc. “These massive search operations are the fallout of the purchases made on fake GST bills,” the trader added.