Pradeep Pattanayak

Ahead of Dhanteras, separate teams of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) department conducted simultaneous raids at jewellery shops in Bhubaneswar and Puri on Friday. The raids were carried out on the charges of the jewellery shops evading taxes. 

In Bhubaneswar, the GST sleuths swooped down on a reputed jewellery shop on Janpath. Acting on the direction of the Joint Commissioner, an audit was also carried out. 

Similarly, another team of GST sleuths conducted raids on a jewellery shop and the owner’s house in Puri town on charges of evading tax. The shop is located at Nayak Plaza. The raids continued all throughout the day. 

However, the jewellery shop owners alleged that they were being unnecessarily harassed at the time of Dhanteras. 
“Raids are carried out when they have specific complaints of tax evasion against specific shops. They were at our shop not to conduct a raid but to audit. But this being Dhanteras time, it is an inopportune time to conduct an audit. It hampers our business,” rued Goura Triwal, owner of the jewellery shop, in Bhubaneswar. 

When asked, Commercial Tax Officer (CTO), Bhubaneswar, Purna Chandra Murmu said, “We are verifying their stocks, books of accounts and the related documents to find out whether they are evading tax or not.”

Notably, jewellery shops witness a large footfall on the occasion of Dhanteras. If their one-day sales are put together, it would be in quintals. This year, Dhanteras falls on October 23.