Since almost 9 years the IT giant Intel has dodged paying tax to the Bruhar Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP). Now the BBMP has come up with a novel Intel Inside Garbage Outside tactic to make the company cough up the tax it owes to the government.
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As reported by India Today, The BBMP said that the standing committee on taxation and finance had found that the company had defaulted tax payment between 2007 and 2008 to the tune of Rs 34 crores. Repeated notices to Intel were not taken seriously and finally the BBMP with the help of valid documentation managed to convince the court how Intel defaulted.
As an interim measure the court had directed Intel to pay Rs 17 crore which is half the amount the company owes by July 25. However, after all such warnings were repeatedly ignored by the IT giant, the BBMP resorting to a very creative tactic decided to block the gates of the IT major with garbage trucks.
According to the Joint Commissioner of the Mahadevapura zone, BBMP Muniveerappa, inspite of the company office being centrally air conditioned, it had been calculating its taxes on the basis that it was not an air conditioned office.
Intel has sought time of four weeks to pay their dues. But here is where it gets interesting. Not even 1% of the Indian population may know who the financial advisers of this multinational Intel Corp. are. It is advised by the financial advisory consultants of the Rothschild Inc.; the same House of Rothschilds who were one of the controlling families of the East India Company. And Intel is just one of their client companies in their overall plan to ‘Develop India’ – the entire story of which is told in The Rothschild Plan To Develop India from GreatGameIndia Magazine’s exclusive Foreign Countries Dictating India Series.
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BBMP officials have resorted to such innovative measures earlier as well in 2013 when Wipro defaulted paying Rs 19.28 crores. BBMP officials arrived with a team of hired drum-beaters who stood under the Wipro signboards and drummed away leaving the officials of Wipro red faced.
Such tax evasion by IT companies is not the only problem officials in Bengaluru are facing. Recent study by T V Ramachandra of the Centre for Ecological Sciences titled Insights to Urban Dynamics through Landscape Spatial Pattern Analysis have brought to light how the IT Boom has made the city unliveable.
Intel and Wipro are not the only companies trying to evade taxes. For sometime now the 9,000 crore rupee loss that Vijay Mallya has caused the banking system has dominated headlines and mind space. However, much larger defaulters have escaped the public eye by being low key. The only reason why Mallya has become the poster boy of defaulters is probably because of his flamboyant life style. Almost every business journalist knows that Mallya will not rank even among the top 25 biggest defaulters.
Here’s the list compiled by MoneyControl of some of the largest borrowers, many of whose group companies are known to be loss making.
LARGE STRESSED BORROWERS GROSS BORROWING – FY15 (rupees cr)
Essar Group 1,01,464
GMR Group 47,976
GVK Group 33,933
Jaypee Group 76,180
Lanco Group 47,102
Reliance ADAG 1,24,956
Videocon Group 45,405
Here’s a list of corporate borrowers whose loans are larger than Mallya’s Rs 9,000 crore and whose earnings are less than their interest dues for the last 1-3 years:
But what is more surprising is that in most cases the money owed by these companies to the government are written-off by the government itself. Data presented by Santosh Kumar Gangwar in a question answered in Rajya Sabha on 2nd August 2016 show the extent of revenue foregone in 2015-16 – this is estimated to be Rs 6.11 trillion.
P. Sainath put this into a better perspective in his report titled How Much Can We Forgo To India Inc?. According to the ‘Revenue Forgone Statement’ corporate companies on an average get tax waiver of Rs 7 crore every hour or Rs 168 crore every day or Rs 5.32 lakh crore every year. It’s close to three times the amount said to have been lost in the 2G scam. About four times what the oil marketing companies claim to have lost in so-called “under-recoveries” in 2012-13. Almost five times what this year’s budget earmarks for the public distribution system. And over 15 times what’s been allocated for the MNREGS. But we only have the data from 2005-06 to 2013-14. In those nine years, the corporate karza maafi amounted to Rs 36.5 lakh-crore. That, in case you like the sound of the word, is Rs 36.5 trillion.
Recently, the Supreme Court expressed dismay at 1,14,000 crore rupees of corporate loans being written off by banks since 2013-14, perhaps the largest write-off in 48 months. More write-offs are in the pipeline as banks have taken over a dozen bankrupt companies (with mostly useless assets) in the faint hope of reviving them. All this is happening even as big promoters continue to fly their private planes and holiday on their luxury yachts. It is a major conspiracy to destroy and takeover the Indian banking system as explained in our previous article Should State Owned Indian Banks Be Privatised?.
Tax evasion, not paying wages to workers, bribing officials, blackmail, hoodwinking the government by multinational corporations is nothing new. Take for instance – Foxconn. This is the company that says it will create 1 million jobs in India. The same company that recently replaced 60,000 human workers with robots — just in a single factory in China. The same company that was recently kicked out of Chennai for not paying wages to its workers inspite of making huge profits. Foxconn was manufacturing Nokia phones in its Chennai plant, Nokia which itself has an ongoing Rs 21 thousand crore tax dispute with Indian tax authorities. Despite these cases pending Foxconn has been invited into another of Indian state where it will be manufacturing iPhones. These are the least of Foxconn controversies. In China workers are forced to sign No Suicide Bond on joining due to high suicide rates of its employees. Is this the future awaiting the people of India? We can either go the BBMP/Intel way or we can go the Mallya way, it’s for the people of India to decide where we go from here.
Shelley Kasli for GreatGameIndia – India’s only quarterly magazine on Geopolitics & International Relations.
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