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Public Administration

ET 4 :: The ‘VBS’ files bombshell: ISPAT payoffs to steel ministry?

When Income Tax officials raided a steel company’s office in Ashoka Hotel in Delhi in December 2010, they found documents that noted the company’s payments, all in cash, to officials in the steel ministry and some state-run firms.

The firm that was raided was ISPAT Industries Limited (IIL). At the time, it was owned and run by Pramod and Vinod Mittal, the brothers of steel tycoon and multi-billionaire Lakshmi Mittal.

The entries of the payments suggested kickbacks so the Income Tax department followed up, asking for responses from the government departments listed in the company’s records as the intended beneficiaries of the money. But the investigations did not go any further.

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