Bhubaneswar: Indian Oil Corporation Limited(IOCL) owes Rs 1,485 crore through Value Added Tax (VAT) to Odisha government and a notice would soon be issued to the company for payment, the state Assembly was informed on Monday.

"IOCL's refinery at Paradip, which started commercial production from November 22, 2015, is yet to pay Rs 1,485 crore for the period till December 2016," Finance Minister Pradip Amat said in reply to a question by Ranendra Pratap Swain, BJD MLA from Athagarh during Question Hour.

Stating that non-payment of VAT amounted to violation of Orissa Value Added Tax Act, 2004, Amat said, "Notice would soon be issued to the oil company for payment of the amount."

Describing IOCL as a profit making company which is capable of mobilising resources, the minister said, "It does not require facilities like interest-free credit for its refinery at Patadip."

The issue also came up during the Zero Hour when Food Supplies Minister Sanjay Dasburma pointed out that Gujarat Government had moved the Supreme Court in a similar case relating to the violation of agreement by three companies.

Dismissing Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan's claim that withdrawal of interest-free credit to IOCL would hit industrialisation in Odisha, Dasburma accused the BJP leader of being guided by political considerations while pleading for the oil company.

He said a committee formed for suggesting reforms in the financial sector had in 2011 recommended withdrawal of tax incentives to IOCL refinery. Similar views were expressed by the then Advocate General in 2012.

The state government had also taken up the matter relating to roll back of interest-free credit with IOCL and the petroleum ministry several times in the past, he said and asked the petroleum minister to treat the matter on its merit instead of politicising it.

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