A high-level Delhi BJP delegation led by president Vijender Gupta met Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna on Monday and demanded a probe into the evasion of taxes worth crores of rupees by various banquet halls, resorts and restaurants in the capital. The delegation also alleged that a Delhi Minister and some officials have been trying to shield these guilty business groups.

Following the meeting, the Delhi BJP said Mr. Khanna assured them that he would have the matter probed and that necessary legal action will be taken against the persons found guilty.

The delegation, that comprised former Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Jagdish Mukhi, Delhi BJP general secretaries Ramesh Bidhuri and Pravesh Verma and vice-presidents Anil Jha and Vishakha Sailani, discussed the issue with the Lieutenant-Governor for nearly half an hour, Mr. Gupta said. He said Mr. Khanna heard the entire case and assured that the matter would be investigated.

The delegation said if tax evasion worth crores of rupees is detected in the Capital then it would help the Delhi Government in providing various amenities to the people. ``While this money can provide relief to the poor people of Delhi from unnecessary taxes, it is regrettable that the Government is only working in favour of the rich,’’ Mr Gupta charged.

Alleging that it was due to the connivance of the Government officials and functionaries that tax evasion of Commercial Tax, VAT and Excise Duty was taking place on a large scale, the delegation said this fact has also been revealed in a confidential letter written by the Commercial Tax Commissioner to the Delhi Finance Minister.

``The Ministers and bureaucrats are not allowing honest officers to perform their duties. Those officers who want to recover taxes properly are threatened and the corrupt officers are benefiting. Due to this the Government is in deficit and the development works are being hindered,’’ Mr. Gupta said.

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