Sunday, November 29, 2015

Bar license fee was reduced to 23 lakh as directed by Minister Babu, reveals tax secretary

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Tax secretary K Ajith’s statement to the vigilance that the license fee for bars was reduced from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 23 lakh as per the directive of Excise Minister K Babu in 2013, has been exposed. Ajith said the excise commissioner had recommended to increase it to Rs 25 lakh.

Meanwhile, in the pre-budget meet held in February 2013, the minister’s statement to bar owners that there are plans to increase the bar license fee, has also been revealed. Babu’s statement said the meet is convened in all years and it was
organised on the basis of bar owners’ memorandum.The minister said in the meet that the excise commissioner had recommended to increase the license fee to Rs 25 lakh from Rs 22 lakh.  

Babu said that he had told the bar owners, who wanted to reduce the fee to Rs 18 lakh, that a single penny would not be reduced. The minister said that he knew bar association working president Biju Ramesh but had not mingled with him so much. Babu said that he neither spoke to bar owners after the officials left the place nor has received money as levelled by Biju.  Babu told vigilance that his children’s families have land in Theni and Karnataka.

Meantime, excise commissioner Anil Xavier told vigilance that there are minutes for the meet convened on February 4 in 2013.

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