Centre tarnishing KIIFB’s image ahead of Assembly polls, says TM Thomas Isaac during I-T inspection

The income tax dept collected details relating to the KIIFB’s projects executed in the last five years and financial transactions made to contractors
TM Thomas Isaac
TM Thomas Isaac

The income tax (I-T) inspection at Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) on Thursday has not gone down well with state Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac.

Isaac alleged suspicion over the I-T inspection with the Kerala Assembly elections just weeks away. “I-T department is showing hooliganism. All details were given to them. The Centre intends to defame KIIFB as it is implementing development projects in Kerala. The drama of informing the media in advance must stop,” Isaac said after the inspection began.

The department inspection went on for 10 hours. Reportedly, 15 I-T officials arrived at the KIIFB headquarters on Thursday afternoon and left late at night. The department collected details pertaining to the KIIFB’s projects executed in the last five years. KIIFB were asked to hand over details on the financial transactions made to contractors and the tax details on those transactions.

On March 21, the I-T Department has initiated an investigation against KIIFB. The probe agency has issued a notice seeking details regarding KIIFB projects introduced in the last five years. Moreover, in a letter, the Income Tax Additional Commissioner has sought details of the income tax paid by KIIFB for each project funded by KIIFB for the last five years.

Earlier this week, the central government informed the Parliament that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a case against the KIIFB. Reportedly, they even informed that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is not investigating against the KIIFB. The Finance Ministry was reportedly responding to a question raised by MPs including Adoor Prakash, Hibi Eden and NK Premachandran.

The ED inquiry is following a complaint based on the Foreign Exchange Act. According to reports, statements were taken from Axis Bank and KIIFB officials in connection with the case. The government even informed that they are examing the documents submitted by the ED officials.

Earlier, Axis Bank had approached the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on behalf of KIIFB seeking permission for the masala bond. Later, the RBI had given permission.

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