New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
on Thursday dubbed I-T order on investment MoUs signed during Vibrant
Gujarat Summits as "routine", but admitted it followed
complaints by Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly,
seeking to know source of funds.
Making a statement in the Rajya Sabha, he said in
December, Leader of the Opposition in Gujarat Vidhan Sabha
(belonging to Congress) had made a complaint that source of
large funds committed for investment in the state during the
biennial summits should be investigated by the I-T authorities.
"Verifications of allegations made in any complaint is
routinely carried out by the Income Tax Department," the
Finance Minister said.
The BJP had yesterday created a ruckus in the Upper House
and described the I-T move as an "assault" on the federal
character of the country. Leader of the Opposition Arun
Jaitley had said that investment commitments worth Rs 20.53
lakh crore had been made in the last summit held in January.
Rather than feeling proud, the Centre has "let loose" its
I-T Department on the BJP-ruled state, he alleged.
The investment promises were made by industrialists,
builders, trading firms and others in the BJP-ruled state, it
was mentioned in the complaint, Mukherjee said.
He said it was asserted by the LoP in Gujarat Assembly
that "they (investors) either had the funds or would raise it
to honour the commitments, which called for tax investigations
into the source of huge funds".
To collect further information to "verify allegation", the
Income Tax Investigation Directorate of Gujarat on February 17
wrote to Gujarat`s Industries Commissioner to seek copies of
MoUs of above Rs 1,000 crore signed during the Summits, he
Mukherjee said the information sought by the I-T Department
"has so far not been furnished".