Income tax dept asks Rotomac group to pay Rs106 crore in taxes


New Delhi: The income tax (I-T) department has asked Rotomac group companies to pay up Rs106 crore in tax after raids conducted in 2014 and subsequent assessment proceedings had led to the detection of alleged income on which tax had not been paid.

The tax demand pertains to several years up to 2014, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on condition of anonymity, adding that usually raids bring to notice alleged tax evasion of multiple years.

The department has also issued a notice to the group promoted by the Vikram Kothari family, asking why prosecution proceedings should not be initiated against promoters for alleged tax evasion. The Rotomac group is involved in an alleged Rs3,695 crore loan default with regard to a consortium of state-backed lenders.

The I-T law prescribes between three months and two years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine for proven cases of “wilful attempt” to evade taxes less than or equal to Rs25 lakh. If tax evasion exceeds Rs25 lakh, the punishment is between six months and seven years of rigorous imprisonment and fine.

The tax department had on Monday attached four immovable properties of the Rotomac group.

Three out of these properties are in Kanpur and one in Ahmedabad, said the person quoted above.

Mint reported on Thursday that the Central Bureau of Investigation arrested Rotomac Global Pvt. Ltd directors Vikram Kothari and his son Rahul Kothari as part of its probe into the alleged Rs3,695 crore default.

The swift action by investigating agencies and regulators on loan defaulters and tax evaders is expected to change the behaviour of large borrowers in a country where the banking system is saddled with toxic assets of about Rs10 trillion that cripple their ability to finance new projects.

On Thursday, the I-T department also provisionally attached the assets of Hyderabad Gems SEZ Ltd, a company belonging to the Gitanjali Group, for suspected tax violations. The assets are worth about Rs1,200 crore.

Earlier in the week, the department had attached 141 bank accounts of jewellery designer Nirav Modi’s business entities involved in the Rs11,400 crore Punjab National Bank scam. The total credit balance in these accounts comes to Rs145.74 crore.

Rotomac could not be reached for comment, while an email sent to the external spokesperson of Gitanjali Group remained unanswered at press time.livemint