LUDHIANA: City businessmen who have opened a front against central GST (CGST) officials alleging harassment and demand of bribe met Union minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur on Monday evening.
The businessmen demanded strict action against officials of the CGST and as per the officer-bearers of the Business Bachao Morcha (BBM).
Anurag assured them that an enquiry in the allegations of businessmen will be launched and if officers were found guilty, action would be taken against them.
The businessmen also met former deputy chief minister of Punjab Sukhbir Badal regarding the same issue and gave a memorandum to him.
Giving more information, Gurdeep Singh Gosha, president of BBM, said, “From past one month, we are fighting a battle against corrupt officials of the CGST department who have left no stone unturned to harass innocent businessmen. Businessmen are easy target for officers who can go to any extent to fleece businessmen. In the recent case as well, an innocent businessman was raided by a team of the CGST who then demanded bribe from him and when he refused to pay, he and those who came to his support, were booked under false charges. What can be even worse that when businessmen went to the police to get case registered, they were turned back.”
Gosha also added, “Yesterday evening we met the minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur who gave us a patient hearing. We have apprised him of the entire incident, and he has assured us that he will initiate an enquiry at the earliest and action will be taken against the guilty officers.”
The delegation of the Business Bachao Morcha (BBM) who met Anurag Thakur and Sukhbir Singh Badal in New Delhi comprised of Vineet Handa, Vinod Jain, along with aggrieved businessmen Naveen Jain, Lucky Sharma, Gopi Bhandari, Naval Jain, Sunil Tangri, Rajinder Singh Tara, Rajiv Sharma, Pawan Malhotra.
Notably on January 16, CGST department got FIR registered against Naveen Jain, owner of a garment factory, his associates Rajesh Mahajan, Vaneet Rai and 60-70 unidentified persons, for obstructing raid being conducted by the officials of the CGST.
After the FIR, businessmen resorted to protest against the department accusing the officials of trying to extort money from the raided businessmen by forcing them to pay lakhs as donation for a government school located in Bhundri.
The businessmen also gave a complaint to the police demanding FIR against the CGST officers for trying to extort money from them and taking Rs 15 lakh cash forcibly from one of the factory owners. Ever since the incident, businessmen have been staging protest at various places in Ludhiana.
Source- Times of India.