The Supreme Court on Friday, pulled up Binani Cement Limited for not paying sales tax to the Rajasthan government while spending crores in advertisements featuring mega star Amitabh Bachchan. It refused to protect the company from coercive action taken by the Rajasthan government.
A bench headed by Justice Vikramajit Sen said that industries which are not paying tax to the government should not be pampered. "How much do you pay for one appearance of Amitabh Bachchan for your advertisement. How much you spend on ads. It must have been thousands of crore. It is only the state which is not paid," the bench said. "What else would they do if not to take coercive action. You must pay your taxes. I don't know why we have to pamper industries which do not pay taxes," it said.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by the cement manufacturing company which owes tax to the tune of around Rs 154 crore to the state government and it had sought relaxation for mode of payment but it was rejected by the state government and the high court.
The company then approached the Supreme Court which refused to entertain its plea. "How would the government run the country if the industries do not pay taxes. Industries are not there only for creating employment opportunities but they are also liable to pay taxes," the bench said.