Sales tax authorities seal railway workshop in Jhansi

JHANSI: MP Sales Tax authorities on Monday sealed a railway workshop in Jhansi as it had failed to deposit Rs 94 lakh, which was outstanding on it for quite a long time. Surprisingly the action was taken at around 9.00 am, when nearly 2,500 workers were already working inside the workshop and were locked from outside.

It was a shock for the workers of this 118-year-old workshop to find themselves locked inside the premises. As per Farokh Pestonji, joint secretary of NCRMU, “It seems quite horrible that we are finding ourselves locked inside the workshop premises with no valid reasons. It is for the first time in the history of this workshop that such an incident has occurred.” Similarly Prabhat Tarafdar who has been working here for past 30 years said that it is a mental harassment for the workshop staff. “It is a blot on the 5,000 strong workforce and quite shameful,” he said.

Giving further details, Shivendra Mohan, chief workshop manager said that a long case related to entry tax on various products brought by the Railways for its own work was pending. According to him, such products are exempted from such taxes and an appeal had also been filed by their advocates and on that basis they had got a stay on 70% of the amount (whereas they were seeking total exemption). “Apart from this we have also deposited around Rs 24 lakh recently as taxes,” Mohan said.

Later on the authorities of sales tax department removed the seal at around 1.30 pm after Railways agreed to deposit the balance 30% of the remaining amount.

SP Singh, joint commissioner sales tax said that the department has been continuously reminding the Railways for payment of the dues and five days ago they had served a notice mentioning that they will be sealing the premises if the workshop does not pay the due. and had even summoned their advocate in this matter but no one took any cognizance.

SP Singh also claimed that he had even met the Jhansi DRM, but nothing happened and ultimately they had to take this action.