I-T dept asked to start prompt action against tax evaders

Empowering the tax authorities with such a step will also help India showcase its seriousness to the international financial enforcement community on addressing issues of black money and illicit funds

New Delhi: Taking a step forward against black money, the finance ministry has asked the Income Tax (I-T) Department to launch immediate prosecution action in tax evasion cases wherein tangible assets and investments are located in foreign shores, reports PTI.

The department has been asked to do away with the norm of taking permission from higher authorities to initiate legal action and begin proceedings against tax evasion.

The finance ministry’s foreign taxation division can now ask the I-T range concerned to begin prompt prosecution action and issue summons to the depositor based on the evidence provided by the financial enforcement wing of the foreign nation concerned.

“The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued orders in this regard as this will help in initiating quick action in cases where foreign accounts or assets have been traced by investigators,” a senior I-T officer said.

The step is also aimed at ensuring seamless flow of information between the investigating officer and the party under prosecution.

Sources said the step has been taken in the backdrop of CBDT obtaining for the first time investment data of few Indians who had accounts in Germany’s Liechtenstein Bank, recently.

According to sources, empowering investigators with such a step will also help India showcase its seriousness to the international financial enforcement community on addressing issues of black money and illicit funds.

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CBI sends reminder to TRAI for assessing loss in spectrum scam

The premier investigating agency sent a reminder to TRAI as there was no word from the telecom regulator ever since the investigating agency first made its request in January this year

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) (CBI), probing the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam, has reminded the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to ascertain the exact loss to the government owing to allocation of spectrum to all operators between 2001 and 2008 following varying estimates, reports PTI.

The estimates varied between Rs35,000 crore and Rs1.76 lakh crore.

CBI sources said Wednesday a reminder was sent to TRAI as there was no word from the regulator ever since the investigating agency first made its request in January this year.

Based on the findings of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the CBI had estimated in its first information report (FIR) in 2009 that the government may have lost over Rs22,000 crore due to irregularities in the allocation of spectrum in January 2008 by former telecom minister A Raja, who was arrested in February on charges of favouring some private firms.

Later, the investigating agency had estimated the loss to be at around Rs35,000 crore. The loss was less than the figures arrived at by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) which had pegged the notional loss to Rs1.76 lakh crore.

The agency’s decision to approach TRAI was taken in view of the varying estimates of the losses to the exchequer on account of the sale of spectrum in 2008.

The CBI had requested the TRAI to set up an expert team to go into the entire gamut of spectrum pricing and give an estimated loss which can be proved in the court.

However, it has been six months since the agency has heard from the telecom regulator, prompting the CBI to send in a reminder ahead of the next date of hearing in Supreme Court on 7th July.

The CBI was unable to assess the price of 2G spectrum allocated to telecom players between 2001 and 2008, when most of the old players like Bharti, Vodafone and Idea were allocated spectrum.

TRAI has forwarded the request of the CBI for assessment of the value of spectrum price to its expert panel for which the report was yet to be completed.

Taking a cue from the allocation policy, TRAI had earlier this year recommended a pan-India licence fee of Rs10,972.45 crore for 6.2 Mhz of start-up spectrum with effect from 1 April 2010, as against the Rs1,658 crore that was being paid by operators till now.

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L&T wins new orders worth Rs4,100 crore

The new orders are for the construction of airport expansion, hospital, commercial, residential buildings including factories

Larsen & Toubro’s (L&T) Buildings & Factories Independent Company, part of its Construction Division, has secured new orders worth Rs4,100 crore during the first quarter of FY2012 for the construction of airport expansion, hospital, commercial, residential buildings including factories.

L&T has secured new orders aggregating to Rs1,638 crore in the commercial buildings & airports business which includes design & construction of airport terminal expansion, hospital and medical college and other commercial buildings.

The company has also secured orders worth Rs2,051 crore for the construction of residential towers from developers across major cities.

New orders worth Rs411crore have been secured for the construction of factories including additional orders in the ongoing contracts.

These orders further enhance the order book of the company which has already secured for major design & build contracts in airports, IT Parks commercial and residential space.

On Wednesday, L&T ended 0.41% up at Rs1,652.95 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.06% to 17,550.63.

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