Monday, September 19, 2016

Tax concessions to battery unit: Mani questioned

KOTTAYAM: The vigilance questioned former finance minister K M Mani in connection with the illegal tax concession granted to the battery unit at Chingavanam in Kottayam. He was questioned by a team led by vigilance DySP Ashok Kumar on September 13 at the Nattakom Guest House for nearly three hours.

An initial probe has noticed that there is truth in int. Following that, he was questioned. 12 questions to be answered by him was mailed to him.

The case is that he incurred a loss of Rs 1.66 crore to the exchequer by granting concession to a unit making lead oxide used in batteries. The probe had found that Mani went out of the way to help Benny Abraham, owner of Super Pigments in Kurichi. 

There was a tax of 4% till 2005 for a unit producing lead powder needed for the battery. Later in 2005 when VAT was introduced, the tax for it was raised to 12.5%. In 2012-13, the tax was increased to 13.5%. However Benny was not willing to pay the increased tax till 2015. He had paid only 5% tax after 2005.

A complaint was lodged by George C Kappan seeking probe in the allegation. Kappan had contested as a Left candidate against Mani in 1991. He is presently the president of the Service Co-operative Bank in Kizhathadiyoor.

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