Indian Railways unearth Rs 660 crore scam

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New Delhi, Sep 30: The Rashmi Group has been slapped with Rs 660 crore notice by the Indian Railways for exporting lakhs of tonnes of iron ore that it said was domestic consumption by deceitfully submitting misleading documents to the railways.

Rashmi Groups in a notice during 2008-2011 was penalised for Rs 528 crore for mis-declaration restoring to freight evasion worth Rs 132 crore adding the total amount to Rs 660 crore.

Reports suggest that the group in 2009-2010 declared that it transported iron ore worth 9.67 lakh tons for domestic use but later it was found that they consumed only 1.24 lakh tons keeping 43,000 tons in their inventory meaning 8 lakh tons was meant for export. Rashmi is accused of freight evasion of Rs 4.17 crore in that year as railways charge minimum for transporting domestic iron ore.

The Railways investigation further revealed that Rashmi Metaliks transported 3.98 lakh tons of iron ore claiming it was for domestic use but it was later found that the ore was exported from Haldia port, Kolkata. Rashmi Group is also accused of forging documents that showed inflated production figures in order to get customer status priority.

"We came to know about changing of excise document figures by this company. We are also investigating that," he said.

Rashmi Group declined to comment over the issue. The officials of the Railways however, revealed that there were companies across the nation guilty of fraud and cheated the nation off their crores.

Meanwhile, the Central Vigilance Commission said that the Indian Railways tops the corruption list, since the complaints against the Railway Ministry officials alleged irregularities in discharging their duty is the maximum. More than 2,600 railway employees have come under scanner of departmental investigation.

Out of the total of 1,646 cases sent by CVC recommending action, a highest of 321 were of Railways, followed by 305 in Central Board of Excise and Customs, 174 in Central Board of Direct Taxes and 102 in Department of Telecommunications among others.

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