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Tax default cuffs on MSO heads

Two directors of multi-system operator GTPL-KCBPL were arrested on Thursday for alleged service tax default, amounting to more than Rs 5 crore over the past five years.

The MSO is a joint venture between Gujarat Telecommunications Private Limited and Kolkata Cable and Broadband Pariseva Ltd. It has its office at 86 Golaghata Road, Calcutta.

“Managing director Bijoy Kumar Agarwal and director Prasun Kumar Das of GTPL-KCBPL were arrested. Investigation revealed that they had collected around Rs 5.52 crore as service tax from the subscribers (through cable operators) between 2008-2009 and 2012-13 but never deposited the money with the government. This is a cognisable offence that can land an offender in jail for seven years. Both men have been produced before Alipore court,” said K.K. Jaiswal, the service tax commissioner of Calcutta. The duo got interim bail.

The MSOs are supposed to pay 12.36 per cent of their collection as service tax.

Industry sources said the arrests would not affect the six lakh cable TV homes under the MSO.

“Steps are being taken to recover the dues from GTPL-KCBPL,” Jaiswal said.

The service tax department said it could attach immovable property and bank accounts of the company.

Service tax officials said it was one of the biggest tax evasions in Calcutta.