GST swoop on Pankaja Munde's sick sugar factory for Rs 19-cr dues; no Central aid for unit

Mumbai, Sep 26 (IANS): In a bolt to the sulking Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pankaja Munde, the GST Department swooped on a sugar factory controlled by her and seized certain assets to recover Rs 19-crore worth of GST dues, official sources said.

A GST team earlier sent a notice to the Vaidyanath Cooperative Sugar Factory in Beed -- which has been shut down due to financial problems for past several months -- and after it was ignored, the GST sleuths visited the factory on Monday for an inspection.

Interestingly, the developments took place two days after the Mumbai trip of Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah (Saturday) and a day before the BJP President toured Maharashtra (Tuesday) shocking the supporters of Munde, who is the party’s national secretary.

Taking umbrage at the actions, and potential attachment of the factory premises, Munde said that there was no misappropriation and her factory was passing through financial distress for several years.

She claimed that several sugar factories had sought aid from the Centre’s Cooperative Department, but her factory was kept out of it, and the latest action was allegedly on orders from ‘above’.

Munde, the daughter of former Union minister late Gopinath Munde, said that the figures in the GST notices pertained to the interest and the recovery process had started some months ago for which they were cooperating with the GST authorities.

“The factory has been in losses since 2011, there was a loan of Rs 250 crore of which Rs 52 crore was paid off… Our properties are mortgaged and we had sought the government’s help, but this is the only sugar factory which did not get aid,” Munde said.

In a veiled attack, she wondered “for how long to tolerate all this”, and said if the Centre had extended the aid, such a situation would not have arisen.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP, Supriya Sule, sympathised with Munde’s plight and said that this shows “how the party (BJP) is unfair to old loyalists”, and also how the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi government had helped the Beed factory when it was in power.

Munde has been relegated to the fringes after she lost the 2019 Assembly elections with her colleagues, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and Vinod Tawade on the ascent, with questions being asked on her future political moves and strategy.


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Title: GST swoop on Pankaja Munde's sick sugar factory for Rs 19-cr dues; no Central aid for unit

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