Punjab Govt. Probe Fastway scam worth Rs 500 crore, says Sidhu

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Chandigarh: The government failed to bring in a legislation in the budget session to end the hold of Fastway, allegedly owned by the Badals, on the cable network, though minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had on Thursday announced to probe what , he termed the “Fastway scam worth Rs 500 crore”.

File PhotoNavjot Sidhu

As per reports After passing of 11 bills in the absence of the opposition parties, Sidhu got up to dish out figures on alleged tax evasion by Fastway, a company he said enjoyed “patronage” of the Badal family. He was replying to Congress MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa during Question Hour.

 

“It is a miracle,” he remarked, employing sarcasm, “A company that started with Rs 25 lakh as capital showed profit of Rs 30 crore during its first year. Like a big fish, it ate away the small fish. It created a monopoly by intimidating cable operators. It rendered over 1 lakh youth jobless.”

 

He added, “There are over 80 lakh television connections in Punjab, but it shows just 1.25 lakh on its books. It evaded sales tax on set-top boxes, gave no security refunds, and only 150 cable operators (under it) paid entertainment tax.”

 

He then claimed that Fastway had “bullied Reliance Communications, which was laying cables for 4G mobile services, to lay its cable too, for free”. A company has to shell out Rs 500 for every metre of road-cutting to lay cables, and Rs 1,000 for every manhole, he said. “But Fastway paid nothing for laying its network in Punjab.”

 

 

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