Siddhartha’s death sparks debate on income tax harassment

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New Delhi: The Café Coffee Day owner’s death has sparked debate on ‘tax terrorism’ with prominent business personalities alleging income tax harassment.

Business personalities like Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and TV Mohandas Pai have said that their views were being “gagged” on the issue of tax terrorism in the country. They have revealed this days after the death of VG Siddhartha, founder of India’s largest coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day.

On Saturday, Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw told the media that a “government official” had called her and asked her not to speak on certain issues such as income tax harassment in the wake of the alleged suicide of the CCD owner.

Shaw said: “He just said that ‘please don’t make such statements. Even Mohandas Pai should not. I am telling you as a friend.”

Her views were echoed by another prominent businessperson ,TV Mohandas Pai, chairman of Manipal Global Education and former board member at Infosys. He claimed that tax harassment was “very widespread.”

Pai said that a lot of people had reached out to him after he vocally criticised the tax department’s excesses saying that the problem was “more widespread than any of us think.”

Pai said:”Many people told me that when they go to the I-T department, they are told that they better pay up. The officers say they have a target to achieve.”

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