A top executive of a Noida-based firm engaged in the coal mining sector has been arrested after his company was found to have allegedly evaded service tax to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore.
A case was registered against M/s Oxygen Infrastructure and Developers Pvt Ltd for alleged service tax evasion and a search was conducted on the company's premises by central revenue department officials, an official release said.
A scrutiny of the records revealed that although the firm was collecting service tax from its clients, it had failed to pay the same into the government exchequer. The alleged tax evasion by the firm of Rs 1.56 crore is for the period, July ,2012, to December, 2013, the release added.
During the probe, the firm's director, Narendra Sharma, recorded his statement and admitted to service tax evasion.
Although Sharma had submitted two post-dated cheques of Rs 50 lakh each towards the pending liability, the same could not be cleared due to insufficient funds in the company's account, said the release from the Noida Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax Commissionerate.
Sharma was thereafter arrested yesterday on charges of service tax evasion, the release added.
Calls and emails to the company failed to elicit any response.
The said firm is engaged in coal mining as a sub- contractor for M/s ST Construction Pvt Ltd, which is in a joint venture with another company, M/s Shiva Swathi Construction Pvt Ltd, at Urdhan open cast mine in Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh.
Evasion of service tax of Rs 50 lakh and above has now been made a cognisable offence following the passage of the 2013-14 Finance Bill on May 10 last year.
Earlier, officials did not have any powers to arrest offenders for service tax evasion.