Essar Oil rues Gujarat government's move to attach its bank accounts

The Gujarat government on Monday has ordered attachment of Essar Oil's accounts for recovering sales tax dues from the company even as Essar Oil said it was surprised at the government's haste when the company was preparing to pay off the dues.

The state government had attached three bank accounts of Essar Oil Limited (EOL), in a bid to expedite the process of recovering sales tax dues of more than Rs8,000 crore from the company.

Officials of the state government's department of commercial tax visited the company's bankers and refinery and attached the accounts.

Essar Oil owes more than Rs8,000 crore to the state government, including Rs6,189 crore collected as sales tax deferment on behalf of the government, and a further Rs1,932 crore as interest.

Reacting to the move, Essar Oil said it was surprised and disappointed by the Gujarat government's unexpected step of attaching the bank accounts of Essar Oil despite the company clearly stating its intent to pay the sales tax due to the state.

The company said as a statement of its bonafide intent, Essar Oil has already agreed to pay Rs1,000 crore within 30 days to the Gujarat government towards the sales tax liability.