Thiruvananthapuram | The Kerala government on Monday said it has already answered the queries raised by Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan with regard to the remittance of IGST by the firm of Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan's daughter and therefore that matter should be closed.
Kuzhalnadan has raised corruption allegations against Veena in connection with the transaction between her firm and Kochi-based company CMRL, and sought to know whether Veena had remitted IGST for the over Rs 1 crore that she had received from the minerals company.
He has also recently sought a vigilance probe into the corruption allegations.
State Finance Minister K N Balagopal said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) department has clarified that it has received the requisite Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) from the CM's daughter's firm.
The minister was talking to reporters in response to Kuzhalnadan's claims in a press conference earlier in the day that the letter issued by the department does not mention the CM's daughter's name -- Veena T -- anywhere and the subject line only mentions her company's name.
Therefore, the Congress leader contended, it was not an answer to his query to the finance minister regarding the tax paid on the total Rs 1.72 crore received by Veena and her firm from Kochi-based private minerals company CMRL.
Balagopal, however, insisted that what the MLA from Muvattupuzha had asked was answered by the department.
"We can only answer what he has asked. We have done that. He wanted to know if the government received the IGST and he was informed it had been received.
"It is clear the tax was remitted. What more could there be? That should have been the end of the matter. The episode should have been closed, instead of raking it up again and again," the minister said.
The minister also said that normally details about tax remittance by individuals is not disclosed, but in this case it was done.
Kuzhalnadan also claimed that Veena received money from the Kochi-based company for more than a year before she got a GST registration and, therefore, it cannot be said that she paid IGST for all the transactions with that company.
In response to this, the finance minister said that prior to the GST regime, sales tax was collected by the Customs and Central Excise Department. He said that Sales Tax was a Central subject and the state had no role in that.
Balagopal remarked that it was not good to launch personal attacks on someone or their family based on non-existent facts.
The accusation about Veena was intended to attack the CM, he said, adding that once it became clear that there is no basis for the allegations, it should have been stopped. "That is the mark of responsible politics," he added.
Evidence has cropped up that showed that Veena's company had dealings with the top leaders of both the ruling CPI(M) as well as the opposition Congress-led UDF, and this has erupted into a controversy in the state.