Cadbury India Private Limited (CIL) has been accused of fraudulently availing area-based tax benefits in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh. Also, a First Information Report has been filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation after a preliminary inquiry.
What are the allegations against CIL?
The company is accused of availing tax benefits to the tune of Rs. 241 crore for setting new units in Himachal Pradesh. According to CBI, the irregularities took place between 2009 and 2011. The agency said that the investigation revealed that the company bribed the government officials to get tax benefits it wasn’t entitled to and tried to cover the matter by misrepresenting facts.
What are the facts of the case?
In 2007, CIL proposed to make an independent unit in the Baddi district of Himachal Pradesh to be eligible for exemption from excise duty and income tax for additional 10 years. But the company expanded its existing unit built-in 2005 instead of making an independent unit. And it obtained a license for the second unit that was an expansion in July 2010 that is four-months after the cut-off date to get benefits.
What did CBI say in its FIR?
The CBI found that the company bribed tax Central Excise Officials Nirmal Singh and Jaspreet Kaur through middlemen. It also said that the company managers also conspired to cover the facts by misrepresenting facts.
What did CIL say in its defense?
The company said that it availed amnesty under the Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme, 2019 introduced by the Indian government to settle litigation.