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    Taxman conducts search & seizure operations at Metro, SSB, Accord & other hospital groups

    Taxman conducts search & seizure operations at Metro, SSB, Accord & other hospital groups

    Taxman conducts search & seizure operations at Metro, SSB, Accord & other hospital groups
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    By Timsy Jaipuria   IST (Updated)

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    The unaccounted income of all the groups searched is estimated to be over Rs 150 crore, so far. The department has put over 30 bank lockers under restraint. 

    The Income Tax department last week conducted search and seizure operations at Metro Group of Hospitals, Accord Hospitals and SSB hospitals, among other hospital groups, people in the know said.
    The department on Wednesday said it seized over Rs 3.5 crore unaccounted for cash and jewellery worth over Rs 10 crore during the search operations it conducted on several healthcare services groups running hospitals last week. As many as 44 premises were searched in Delhi-NCR on July 27, the department said.
    Without naming the groups in its statement, the department said that "huge incriminating physical and digital evidence has been seized".
    The unaccounted income of all the groups searched is estimated to be over Rs 150 crore, so far. The department has put over 30 bank lockers under restraint.
    The analysis of the evidence  revealed that one of the groups maintaining a parallel set of books of account, indicating systematic under-reporting of receipts received from patients in cash, the statement added.
    According to the department, at the time of the patients' discharge from the hospital, the group would remove or deflate the invoice amount by marking it as 'concession/discount'. "This practice, resulting in evasion of income, is being followed across all the hospitals of the group and is spread over various years," the department added.
    The other healthcare groups were found to be engaged in obtaining either inflated or bogus invoices for pharmaceutical drugs or/and medical devices, for example, stents. They not only suppressed the actual profits but also overcharged the patients, it said.
    "The money trail found during the investigations has further corroborated the fact that the groups have been receiving back cash in lieu of payments made through banking channels for these bogus/inflated invoices. One of the hospitals of these groups was also found to be claiming wrong deduction over the years without fulfilling the necessary conditions for the hospital to be eligible as specified business," the I-T department said.
    The evidence that was seized during the searches also revealed that referral payment to doctors and clinics was done without recording the same in the book of accounts. "The referral payment has been fixed at a percentage of invoices raised to the patients. Evidences pertaining to transaction of benami nature have also been uncovered during the search action," the department said.
    The I-T department said further probe is on.
    CNBC-TV18 could not immediately reach out to the three hospital groups mentioned by sources for comments.
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