Politician-bureaucrat nexus helping illegal gold business in Kerala: Congress

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], Mar 4 (ANI): The Kerala unit of the Congress party on Wednesday alleged that a group of ruling party politicians and the bureaucrats is helping the illegal gold business thrive, causing huge losses to the exchequer.

Senior Congress leader VD Satheesan, who had moved a notice for adjournment motion in the Assembly on the issue, told ANI: "As per the World Gold Council, 30 per cent of gold market is in India and out of which Kerala accounts for 80 per cent."

"However, gold is being smuggled into Kerala and ornaments are made out of smuggled bullion. It is being sold by evading the GST and, hence, the state is facing huge monetary losses," he said.

"Only Rs 40,000 crore accounted legal gold business is taking place in Kerala and about Rs 2 lakh crore gold businesses is taking place in the black market," he added.

Satheesan also said that the period when India followed the Value Added Tax (VAT) system, the Kerala government earned Rs 700 crore in 2016-17.

"As per the GST, the government should be earning more than Rs 3,000 crore but only Rs 300 crore is coming into the treasury," he added.

He also said that huge tax evasion is being done in the gold market but the government did not take action for the last three years. "There are provisions in the GST Act to take action through inspection and raids but the government is not enforcing any of the provisions of the GST Act," he said.

The Congress leader also alleged that this has been taking place for a very long time even though the government is facing a huge financial crisis.

"As some of the political leaders and bureaucrats are behind the illegal gold deal, the government is not taking any action," he added. (ANI)