GST evasion cases on the rise

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The Steel City of Rourkela has become a hub of Central GST (CGST) forgery and evasion amid detection of multiple cases involving duping of whopping sum of money from the Central exchequer. Taking advantage of the loopholes in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system, dubious business houses under the jurisdiction of Rourkela Commissionerate of Central GST and Excise department are not only resorting to tax evasion but also audaciously duping the Government with fake invoices. The Intelligence Wing of CGST had arrested a businessman Manas Chandra Baral (47) of Civil Township area here and sent him to jail custody on May 3 for CGST forgery of Rs 62 crore in a short span of a few months using his business firms.

Senior Intelligence Officer of CGST G C Bahubalendra said during investigation, it came to light that Baral, using two firms, issued and received fake invoices to avail Input Tax Credit (ITC) of Rs. 36 crore from the Central Government. Baral also issued fake invoices worth CGST of Rs 26 crore, he said. Using similar modus operandi, another two businessmen, Narayan Khaitan (55) and Sanjiv Singh (34), had duped the Government of around Rs. 20 crore. They were sent to jail in October last year. Sources said in several cases, GST officials found that a ‘network chain’ was created involving people from all walks of life, including house maids, workers, youths, uneducated persons and even Chartered Accountants. Citing network business, the fraudulent businessmen used to obtain their signed documents to open bank accounts or register companies in their names. These cases are under investigation.

Similarly, the Rourkela Commissionerate, using extensive data analytics technology, had detected some business firms involved in tax evasion and recovered Rs 8.5 crore, while three other firms were made to pay Rs 3 crore fine for non-filing of returns in March 2018. About 150 business establishments have been earmarked for inquiry. Till a month ago, about 45 industrial houses were blacklisted with alert notices. A senior CGST official said under the new GST regime, no physical verification of business firms and transaction are done as one can get GST registration only with uploading of required documents. He said fraudulent businessmen are taking advantage of it.

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