CBI books Cadbury India for allegedly getting factory licence in HP

The Central Bureau of Investigation CBI) has registered a case versus Cadbury India Limited (now Mondolez Foods Pvt Ltd) and Central Excise tax officials for allegedly fraudulently acquiring a licence of chocolate factory in Himachal Pradesh in 2009-2010. It is alleged that the business in conspiracy with Excise authorities availed area based (import tax) exemption advantages of Rs 240 crores (appox) for its new manufacturing system in Himachal Pradesh. The CBI sleuths performed searches on Wednesday at nearly half a dozen places in Mumbai, Punjab (Mohali) and Himachal Pradesh.A case has been signed up versus the business and Import tax authorities on charges of cheating and under appropriate provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.As per CBI’s FIR, an initial enquiry (PE) was performed by CBI’s Anti Corruption Bureau in Shimla on the accusation that Mondolez Foods Private Limited (previously known as Cadbury India) have paid kickbacks, misrepresented realities and manipulated records to fraudulently avail location based exemption advantages (Central Excise & Earnings tax) in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh knowing totally well that they were not entitled to avail location based tax exemption benefits.The FIR includes “for availing the same, some members of the executive board of the business together with crucial managers, jointly decided to control records, engage intermediaries to route allurements and cover-up all those evidence that had actually emerged during the internal investigation.It was revealed throughout the PE that M/s Cadbury India Ltd had setup a production unit in the name and design of M/s Cadbury India Ltd at Baddi for manufacturing of Malt based Food (Bournvita) and had actually started industrial production from May 19, 2005. In the year 2007, M/s Cadbury India Ltd proposed to expand production by producing a system for 5 star and gems as System II on the land gotten from M/s Barmalt in 2007 in Baddi to obtain the exemption from excise task and earnings tax for extra ten years.CBI’s FIR states that its preliminary query has actually exposed that M/s Cadbury India Ltd decided to expand the production capability in its existing system instead of a separate unit and get tax exemption from Might 19, 2005 i.e the date of first industrial production of the existing unit just. Appropriately, the business vide its letter dated January 22, 2007 addressed to Director of Industries, federal government of Himachal Pradesh got amalgamation of its two systems wherein it made love that the business had decided to establish its 2nd center as a composite unit with the currently existing system in the name of M/s Cadbury India Ltd. The Directorate of Industries granted approval for merger on March 7, 2008. The FIR adds “nevertheless query has further revealed that M/s Cadbury vide letter dated June 30, 2009 dealt with to Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise Shimla department submitted a declaration intimating that their new factory located in the name and design of M/s Cadbury India had actually begun business production and they would avail Excise duty exemption which was no longer appropriate in the light of amalgamation of the 2 systems handled record by Directorate of Industries and interacted to the company on March 7, 2008”. The FIR goes on to state that the company again obtained de-amalgamation i.e for developing a different system in the name of M/s Cadbury India Ltd.The CBI has alleged that the business was “not entitled for the availed exemption”. The FIR likewise implicates Excise authorities for conspiring with the business authorities in grant of unlawful exemptions and not conducting appropriate verification of the statements made by the business.

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