Bengaluru, April 24 (IANS) Income Tax officials on Tuesday raided offices and homes of 11 government contractors in Bengaluru and Mysuru in poll-bound Karnataka for alleged tax evasion, a senior official said.
"Raids were conducted by officials of the I-T Investigation Wing on one contractor in Bengaluru and 10 in Mysuru. They work on state government's projects through tendering," Income Tax Department Joint Commissioner G. Ramesh said in a statement here.
Denying reports in a section of the media, including news channels, Ramesh said that the office or residence of Public Works Department Minister M.C. Mahadevappa was not searched in Bengaluru or Mysuru.
"No Minister's premises was raided as reported by some media channels," he clarified.
Election to the 224-member Assembly will be held on May 12, with vote count on May 15.
The officials seized Rs 4.13 crore and 4.52 kg gold jewellery valued at Rs 1.32 crore during the raids across the southern state in the last three weeks.
"Of the Rs 4.13 crore seized, Bengaluru accounts for seizure of Rs 2.47 crore and Ballari Rs 55 lakh," Ramesh said in a statement on April 21.
The mine-rich Ballari town is 330 km from Bengaluru.
The Income Tax Department had stepped up surveillance and in view of the elections.
In one of the raids, officials seized Rs 55 lakh from a person. In another case, household articles valued at Rs 9.51 crore intended for distribution were found stored in a warehouse near Mysuru.
Bhubaneswar, April 24 (IANS) Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday requested Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu to set up an airport in Odisha's industrial town Paradip.
In a letter, Pradhan sought the personal attention of Prabhu to examine the techno-economic feasibility for setting an airport at Paradip as soon as possible.
"The grand vision of development of Paradip would remain incomplete without an airport providing air connectivity, as the nearest Biju Patnaik International Airport at Bhubaneswar is 135 kms away and takes more than three hours by road," he said , adding that the Paradip Port Trust has already requested the Airport Authority of India to set up an airport there.
Paradip is one of the major ports in eastern India and last year became one of the three ports in India to have handled a total cargo of over 100 million tons.
The port is being further expanded and modernized and it is expected that by 2020 it would be able to handle 332 million tons of cargo per annum thereby making it the largest port in India, said Pradhan.
He said the Union government has declared Paradip Port as a Smart Port Industrial City, which is fast emerging as a major industrial hub in Odisha and Eastern India.
Besides having the port, Paradip already has an oil refinery of 15 MMTPA capacity, a 12 MMTPA pellet plant, two fertilizer plants together of 4 MMTPA capacity and a edible oil refinery, he said.
In addition, Pradhan said that his Ministry is implementing several big ticket industrial projects, including expansion of refinery to 21 MMTPA from 15 MMTPA, a 700 TMT Poly Propylene plant by 2018 and a 355 TMT Mono Ethyl Glycol unit by 2023-24 which will feed various downstream industries including plastics, paints, rubber and synthetic yarn industries, and all these initiatives "require seamless connectivity".