KOLKATA: It seems to be a really difficult time for the multi system operators (MSOs) in Kolkata. We have learnt that Kolkata Cable & Broadband Pariseva Ltd has been asked to pay a hefty amount to the government authorities as it has been avoiding the tax payment for quite some time.
In another case, former CEO and managing director of Digicable Comm and now the head of the Kolkata operations of Hathway, Amit Nag, who was recently denied anticipatory bail by the Supreme Court, is allegedly untraceable. Sources indicate that the investigation may reach some other senior officials in the national MSO if he does not show up.
Last week indiantelevision.com reported that two officials from Kolkata Cable & Broadband Pariseva Ltd - managing director Bijoy Kumar Agarwal and director Prasun Kumar Das - were arrested as the firm had not paid service tax to the tune of Rs 5.52 crore to the government exchequer.
According to sources, the company has not paid the tax even after regularly collecting it from consumers and thus it has now been asked to pay around Rs 11-13 crore including the fine in the next 20-25 days.
In the case of Nag, we have learnt that the national multi service operator Digicable had lodged an FIR against Nag alleging misuse of position and sharing of confidential data and digital materials like set top boxes and fibre optic wires.
Siticable Kolkata director Suresh Sethia disclosed that Nag had allegedly deleted some sensitive data even when he was with Indian Cable Network Co (a Siticable affiliate in Kolkata) and now he has done the same with Digicable.
Apparently, Nag had applied for a bail plea which was also rejected by division bench of Calcutta High Court.
Sethia says: “We had filed a case against him on 1 January 2010 for deleting sensitive data like line diagrams and sharing of confidential data with competitors. Digicable has also complained of the same offence. In our case, the charge sheet was already filed in April 2013. In case of Digi, his bail request is cancelled and now he is absconding.”
All this seems to be turning against the MSOs as the business community has even got a warning from the finance minister P Chidambaram that the government may arrest and prosecute the ‘chronic’ service tax evaders.