New Delhi: A fresh corruption scandal has hit the scam-tainted UPA-II government.
According to an expose by NDTV, top officials in key ministries received payouts from one of India’s top steel firms, Ispat.
In a document seized by the Income Tax Department during a raid on December 1, 2010, accessed by the news channel, off-book cash transactions made by company staff from 2007 have been recorded, reported The Hindu.
The raid was conducted on the offices of the Pramod Mittal-controlled Ispat Industries in New Delhi.
The document shows payments ranging between Rs 27,74,535 to Rs 1,00,00,000 made to one ‘VBS’, who was referred to as Virbhadra Singh in reports. Singh, who has rubbished reports of him receiving the payouts, was notably the Union Steel Minister at the time.
Singh accused the BJP and senior leader Arun Jaitley of being behind the allegations that have surfaced just ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls in Himachal Assembly.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the document could not be taken on face value as evidence of wrong-doing.
The document also shows Rs 15 lakh was given to one “Min of Steel APS”, while Rs 1 crore were given to “AS for PC”.
The channel claimed, citing the document, that Ispat officials regularly made payouts to officials in the Ministry of Finance, Commerce, Company Affairs, Petroleum, Coal, Mines, Steel, Environment and Forests, Rural Development, Highways and Road Transport and the National Highways Authority of India.
First Published: Saturday, October 13, 2012, 09:28