Fake certificates of CAs used to ‘set up’ industry, units in Sonepat
Panipat, Nov 22, 2022
An alleged scam in getting consent to establish (CTE) and consent to operate (CTO) industrial units from the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) by using fake certificates of chartered accountants (CAs) has come to the fore in Sonepat.
Sources said industrial units, which were covered under the pollution norms, in connivance with some agents, had submitted fake CA certificates to get the CTE and CTO and made a huge revenue loss to the HSPCB.
The matter came to light after a Delhi-based environmentalist Varun Gulati, filed a complaint regarding the alleged scam to the Chief Minister, Haryana, Chief Secretary, Haryana Government, DC Sonepat, DG Vigilance Haryana and Member Secretary, HSPCB.
Gulati, in his complaint, alleged that it was mandatory for the industrial units, eateries and other units to take the CTO and CTE from the pollution board. During the processing of the file, the pollution board decides the fee amount for granting the CTE and CTO on the basis of the total cost of the project, including land cost, plant and machinery cost, which should be attested by a chartered accountant (CA). The CA had to file their report after the verification of the facts, he added.
But, industrialists, eatery owners and others, in connivance with agents, have made a huge revenue loss to the HSPCB and the state government by submitting fake CA certificates in the department by showing low cost of the projects, he alleged. The scam has been on in the district since 2011, he said.
He further said that of the CA certificates uploaded on the portal of the pollution board, maximum were issued by only two CAs in which the cost of the project was shown to be very low. On the basis of the CAs certificate, the board had fixed the fee for the CTO and CTE, while the actual cost of the projects was much more against the cost shown on the CA certificates, he added.
Varun further alleged that if the matter was inquired properly, a scam of crores of rupees would be unearthed. Varun added that either the HSPCB officials didn’t notice this scam or might have overlooked it.
Naveen Gulia, regional officer (RO), HSPCB, said a complaint had been received from the head office, but it would be very early to comment on it.
Pradeep Kumar, Member Secretary (MS), HSPCB, said a complaint regarding the alleged scam in submitting fake CA certificates had been received.
It was a serious matter and would be inquired thoroughly, he said. If anyone was found involved in the alleged scam, action would be initiated accordingly, the MS said.