Opium unit given notice to pay Rs 15 cr

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Neemuch (MP), Jun 25 (UNI) The local Municipal Committee today issued a 15-day notice to the Finance Ministry's Opium and Alkaloid Factory here to pay export tax arrears of Rs 15 crore or face legal consequences.

The Municipal Authorities had warned of legal action for revenue recovery if the arrears, since 1997, were not cleared within 15 days, Neemuch Municipal Committee President Raghuraj Singh Choradia said.

Since 1997, the state government had empowered civic bodies to recover export tax on goods exported. The local Alkaloid factory was also exporting opium to many countries, but no tax was paid to the Municipal Committee so far, Mr Choradia said, adding export tax on opium was one per cent and the factory owed tax arrears of Rs 15 crore keeping in view the quantity of narcotic drugs exported from here.

The notice also asked the factory management to deposit the tax arrears along with interest or else face legal action for recovery of the revenue.

Meanwhile, the local factory management declined to comment on the issue saying the matter would be brought to the notice of New Delhi-based Chief Controller's office, from where further course of action would be decided.

Neemuch and adjoining districts in western Madhya Pradesh along with few nearby districts in Rajasthan were the main producers of opium in the country. The Narcotics department provides permits to the farmers to cultivate opium plants and the entire yield is purchased by the government for further export to different countries.

UNI XC-SP JT DS1230

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