In a curious notice to the BJP, the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI), Ludhiana, had demanded payment of service tax on entry tickets to the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s rallies. However, on Tuesday it withdrew it.
The DGCEI had on February 12 issued a letter to the BJP’s Chandigarh unit stating that the party collected money through entry tickets at rallies at different places where Narendra Modi addressed the public. The charge was that the sale of tickets was an act of evasion of service tax.
The DGCEI officials said notices sent to Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab units of the BJP by its Ludhiana regional unit stand withdrawn.
The letter states, “You are requested to intimate within ten days of receipt of this letter, the details of amounts collected and service tax, if paid any in regard to entry tax to various rallies organised after July 1, 2012, by the BJP or Narendra Modi in the region falling under your office. The above information has been called under provisions of Section 14 of the Central Excise Act 1944.” It was signed by senior intelligence officer Rajesh K Arora. BJP’s Chandigarh unit President Sanjay Tandon confirmed the party got the notice and said he had sent it to the high command for further action.
P S Bisth, Director General of Central Excise and Service Tax (Investigations), said, “BJP leaders have since clarified that the amount being collected through tickets was party fund, and consequently the department has withdrawn its notice today.”