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Millennium Post

No relief for Essar in SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed Essar Oil Ltd to pay sales tax dues of Rs 5,165 crore in eight quarterly instalments to the Gujarat government. A bench comprising justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar said the amount has to be paid with an interest of 10 per cent with effect from 17 January 2012. It asked Essar Oil to pay the first instalment before 2 Jan 2013.

The order was passed after the company sought at least three years time to pay the dues. The Gujarat government had sought the payment of dues within six months. Essar Oil on 17 July had offered to pay to the Gujarat government the sales tax liability of Rs 6,169 crore in instalments.

The court had kept the matter on 29 August to decide the question as to whether the company would be liable for interest for the period from April 2008 onwards on the tax amount.  

Essar Oil Ltd had approached the apex court against the order of the Gujarat high court which had refused any relief to it for making the payment in instalments.

Essar Oil had availed Gujarat government's 'Capital Investment Incentive to Premier/Prestigious Unit Scheme, 1995-2000' for its Rs 1,900-crore Vadinar plant in Jamnagar district as a 100 per cent export-oriented unit for refining of petroleum products with a capacity of 9 million tonnes per annum.
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