AP Fibernet Scam: DRI Slaps Huge Penalty on Pvt Firm for Tax Evasion

 - Sakshi Post

Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh State Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (APSDRI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 34.01 crore on M/s Fastlane Information Technologies Private Ltd for evading tax as part of ongoing investigation into the AP Fibernet scam case. 

The previous TDP regime had allegedly manipulated the tender process to award the Fibernet project worth Rs 330 crore to Hyderabad-based listed firm Tera Software Limited which was a blacklisted company. The Tera Software firm allegedly utilised the services of M/s Fastlane for misappropriation of funds released by the AP State Fibernet Ltd (APSFL). 

The state DRI has ordered the M/s Fastlane firm to pay the penalty of Rs 34,01,43,881 crore for violating the provisions of APGST Act, 2017. The firm has collected the GST from the buyers but failed to deposit into a common maintenance deposit fund.  

Responding to DRI notice, Viplav Kumar Valluri, the former Managing Director of M/s Fastlane said that the firm could not pay the taxes due to non-receipt of invoices from the APSFL despite the deduction of TDS. During its inspection, the DRI sleuths found that M/s Fastlane tried to mislead them. As per the officials, the firm received the amounts from APFSL along with invoices and diverted the funds to known firms like Netops Fiber Solutions LLP, XYZ Innovations and Koffee media. Subsequently, Netops had invested that amount in the real estate company owned by Vemuri Hari Krishna Prasad, who is a prime accused in the Fibernet scam and an aide of the then chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.
Following the non-payment of the stated amount, their vendor M/s Ingram approached the (National Company Law Tribunal) NCLT and the tribunal heard the matter and commenced the insolvency procedure against the defaulter company M/s Fastlane. The GST registration of M/s Fastlane was cancelled after the business entity stopped filing the GST returns in Andhra Pradesh from September 2020. 

Kumar also stated that M/s Fastlane was incorporated on the request of Tummala Gopichand, MD of Tera Software Ltd to assist him in the APSFL project. He is also accused (A-11) in the Fibernet scam case who is being  investigated by state CID. All the three accused in Fibernet scam Viplav Kumar Valluri, Vemuru Hari Krishna and Tummala Gopichand are currently out on bail. 

Also Read: Revanth Reddy Is New CM of Telangana, Congress Says Won't Be One Man Show!


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