Responding to the ‘City Express’ story on unauthorised constructions in the city, the Kerala Merchants’ Union (KMU) stated that Chennai Silks showroom on MG Road was being ‘targeted’ by the Kochi Corporation for refusing to pay donation to a political party.
They stated, “According to them [Chennai Silks authorities], the sudden provocation for the Corporation’s vengeful attitude is the denial of donation to a political party by the employers of the firm.”
Earlier, a vigilance enquiry was mooted into the alleged holding of files by the Corporation officials, to help Chennai Silks allegedly abet tax evasion of `1.45 crore. The issue was taken up at several council meetings which even disrupted many a meet.
Though the KMU refused to name the political party which allegedly asked them for donation, the Union said that “they were suspicious that the political parties in the Corporation council were behind the move to harass Chennai Silks by alleging violation, evasion of advertisement tax and imposing huge amount as tax and fine.”
The KMU said that the Corporation authorities should impose tax and other fees in a uniform manner. They also said that the Chennai Silks has been “targeted” by the Kochi Corporation authorities “with an intention to harass them.”
Replying to the allegations, Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany criticised the textile showroom on MG Road. “What can I say if Chennai Silks interprets legal action as harassment. If they have any complaints regarding the Corporation’s revenue squad, they can always approach the Corporation or move court,” he said.
Corporation’s Development Committee chairman T J Vinod Kumar said, “The Union should spell out the party and the persons involved rather than casting doubt on all,” said Vinod.