The Income Tax department of India on Tuesday took to the strategy of 'naming and shaming' of some large tax defaulters as it published names of 18 entities who owe over Rs.500 crore tax to the exchequer.
"The step is aimed to publicise and put these names in public domain so that the common man can come forward to help the department in knowing the whereabouts of these. The step is to enhance public awareness against these entities who are acting against law. These names were put up on the department's website earlier," a senior I-T officer said.
Newspapers on Tuesday carried the names of the tax defaulters and the data published was quoted to have been published by the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (Administration) based in the national capital here.
Adopting an aggressive approach, government had for the first time gone public with names of 18 tax defaulters, including Goldsukh Trade and Somani Cements which, according to I-T, have turned wilful defaulters.
In a bid to force these entities to pay their dues, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had asked the I-T department to post on its website, few days back, the names of 18 defaulters, of whom 11 are based in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
"Defaulters are advised to pay tax arrears immediately," said the notice.
"This is the first time the department has put in public domain a list of those wilful tax defaulters who have a tax liability of Rs.10 crore and above," a senior tax official had said, adding that in many cases the assessees were not "traceable".
"The department, in the public notice, has provided the PAN number and the last known address of these defaulters for the public to know," the official added.
The official said periodically the department has been proposing "naming and shaming" of wilful defaulters and the step has now been taken on the last day of the current financial year on Tuesday.
The companies in the list include Somani Cement with tax arrears of Rs.27.47 crore, Blue Information Technology (Rs.75.11 cr), Appletech Solutions (Rs.27.07 cr), Jupiter Business (Rs.21.31 cr) and Hirak Biotech (Rs.18.54 cr).
The other Gujarat-based companies which figured in the defaulters list include Icon Bio Pharma & Healthcare Ltd (Rs.17.69 cr), Banyan & Berry Alloys (Rs.17.48 cr), Laxminarayan T Thakkar (Rs.12.49 cr), Virag Dyeing & Printing (Rs.18.57 cr), Poonam Industries (Rs.15.84 cr), Kunvar Ajay Food Pvt Ltd (Rs.15 cr).
Besides, names of Jaipur-based Goldsukh Trade India (Rs.75.47 cr), Kolkata-based Victor Credit & Construction (Rs.13.81 cr), Mumbai-based Noble Merchandise (Rs.11.93 cr) are also there in the list.