Former state minister and BJP MLC from Bhandara-Gondia district in Nagpur Dr Parinay Fuke accused one of the richest civic bodies in Asia and a stronghold of Shiv Sena – Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) – of a scam worth Rs 5000 crore.
Just when the rift between the BJP and Shiv Sena was only getting wider, on November 6, the Income Tax department raided three firms hired by BMC for contracts. The three contractors, said to have high political connections, were Ms Relcon Infraprojects Ltd, Ms RPS Infraproject Pvt Ltd and Ms Skyway Pvt Ltd.
Fuke had demanded a thorough probe in the same at the Maharashtra Council on the last day of the winter session in Nagpur on Saturday. Fuke in the House had said that the contractors had turned into mafia who were looting Mumbai. Hence, it was necessary for the common man to know the truth. Fuke told Nation Next, “A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) should be set up for greater scrutiny in the matter. The blacklisted companies, despite a seven-year ban, continued to work for BMC. Later, even the ban was reduced to three years. Some blacklisted companies even operated in the name of their spouses.”
IT Department in its press release revealed that they’d conducted several raids in Mumbai and Surat on various entry providers and beneficiaries who have been engaged in execution of civil contracts in mainly BMC.
The press release further mentioned, “Detection on account of above mentioned issues is to the tune of Rs 735 crore and extent of accommodation entries is being quantified. A total of 37 premises were covered under search action and seven premises were covered under survey. There were reports that certain contractors had taken entries in the form of loans, etc. from entry providers and also inflated expenses in the books of accounts to suppress income.”
Sources claim the BMC had blacklisted at least two of the contractors that included RPS Infrastructures Limited for seven years in March 2017 apparently for low quality work. However, last month, the term was reduced to three years. The Mumbai Police had also arrested their promoters over Rs 300 crore road repair scam. To probe the scam further, Mumbai Police formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under DCP zone one.
While Ms Relcon Infraprojects Ltd and Ms RPS Infraproject Pvt are mainly involved in roads and bridges contracts, Ms Skyway Pvt Ltd is involved in various civil works and other infrastructure projects with the BMC. The officials of Ms Relcon Infraprojects Ltd and Ms RPS Infraproject Pvt were arrested after being booked for cheating and forgery. A total of 37 premises were covered under search action and seven premises were covered under survey by the I-T.
“Incriminating evidences showing large scale tax evasion and money laundering have been found. It has also led to the detection of the use of bogus companies (floated by entry providers) for giving entries to businesses in the form of loans or bills for expenses, etc. In the case of the entry providers, systematic modus operandi of bank fraud and forgery has been detected whereby the promoters have made investments in immovable properties and shares of group companies by siphoning off the bank loans. In the case of the contractor groups, several instances about inflation of expenses by bogus purchases/sub-contracts and taking of loans from entry providers have been identified,” the press release further added.