Tata Motors embezzled money: MRTPC

By agencies   |   Friday, 07 April 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) has slammed India’s biggest domestic car maker Tata Motors for overbooking and “embezzling” government money by retaining the taxes at the time of the mega-launch of its first car in Tata Indica 1999.

The commission has said in its order that Tata Motors had engaged in “embezzlement of government money” by evading sales tax and excise duty on the bookings of the car, which saw overwhelming response from consumers.

The company had booked 113,000 cars between January 17-23 and collected $730 million. The amount included excise duty, sales tax and transportation charges that the company did not submit to the government exchequer immediately.

Stunned by the MRTPC order, Tata Motors acted swiftly and said it would take “appropriate action” on the verdict even as it said it had paid all taxes to the government on time.

“All taxes were paid when due and could not have been paid before they became due,” Tata Motors said in a statement, responding to the MRTPC order which asked it to immediately transfer sales tax and excise duty to government.

Tata Motors said it had not overbook and had paid interest to all the applicants who had booked the car, apart from giving exit options to those unsuccessful.

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