From a Correspondent
JORHAT, June 6: Based on specific information, sleuths of the anti-evasion unit of the Central Excise department, Jorhat maged to detain two trucks, each of which was laden with 20 metric tonnes of coal, from near a weigh bridge in Pukhuria under Mariani police station at around 9:30 pm on Sunday, and later brought the two trucks to a safe place near the Cinmora Tha under Jorhat police station for verification of papers.
The two trucks UP – 65 CT 1491 and UP – 65 T 3508 bound for Bihar were booked in the me of one Pradip Dutta issued through Invoice no 48 while the second truck was later during investigation found to be booked by one Sanjay Pandey through invoice no 1 issued by Partha Buragohain of Mariani. As informed, sleuths had information about some tax evasion.
Talking to The Sentinel, Anti-Evasion Inspector P Choudhury said, “This is generally an off season though some unscrupulous coal traders try to evade tax by sending full loaded coal trucks outside Assam thinking that the central excise department may not concentrate much on the trade at this time. But we had information and hence conducted a sudden raid. However, later we found that the truck belonging to Pradip Dutta had papers while the truck no 3508 did not have any supporting papers. We detained both the trucks. Owners started appearing on Monday and we have taken their statement and after process we will release the truck but in the event of any discrepancies found owing to improper paper works, the truck might even get seized. Tax evasion is an all-time problem affecting revenue collection of our department. We have levied Rs 200 tax per tonne on the coal transported by Pradip Dutta and Rs 400 per tonne as per new rate on the coal belonging to Partha Buragohain.”
Meanwhile, miner Pradip Dutta stated, “I have been mining coal from galand and stocking in Mariani and regularly send fully-loaded coal trucks outside Assam with genuine invoices, payment of which I make before the scheduled one month time. Yesterday truck no 1491 was on its way to Bihar from Mariani via Jorhat when the excise department officers intercepted and directed the truck to a safe place at Cinmora. Besides excise cess I had also submitted duplicate of CST certificate and still in the me of harassment they detained me for more than 24 hours and have now informed to release the truck at 8 pm on Monday.”
Coal trade in Mariani-galand sector generates huge revenue up to the tune of several crores of rupees during season time that is after Durga Puja celebration and a few hundred lakhs during off season. However, most traders run on duplicate invoices and in some case traders with strong political background run trucks without invoices. Sources have informed that harassment is mostly meted out to petty traders in the me of making periodic checks and strengthening the lines of understanding for persol profit. The Central Government is at a big loss for having no control over the coal trade which is indirectly helping officers of the Mariani range of the Central excise and Jorhat office to amass wealth beyond their official limit.