Two cement firms in Himachal evaded tax: CAG

Shimla: Two major cement companies in Himachal Pradesh have evaded goods tax of over Rs.59 crore, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has said. Audit scrutiny of records showed that Ambuja Cement at Darlaghat and J.P. Cement Himachal Plant at Bagha had evaded additional goods tax, a CAG report said. It said the companies transported 1,66,58,437 metric tonnes (MT) of limestone and 21,33,544 MT of shale from mining areas to cement plants for manufacturing cement and clinker from April 2012 to March 2014. Ambuja Cement and J.P. Cement were liable to pay Rs.33.74 crore and Rs.26.16 crore as additional goods tax to the government, said the report that was laid in the assembly this month. The national auditor has taken a serious view that it was neither paid by the companies nor it was demanded by the department of industries, resulting in evasion of revenue. On being pointed out, the assistant excise and taxation commissioner stated that authorities concerned would be directed to make compliance in this regard. The CAG did not get reply from the state on the revenue loss till December last year. Besides these two mega plants, the other two cement plants in Himachal Pradesh are ACC at Barmana and CCI at Rajban. Their aggregate capacity is 10.66 million tonnes.