The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against managing director of United Hospital Faridur Rahman Khan for dodging tax worth Tk 21.44 crore.
The case, filed by ACC's deputy director Mahbubul Alam with Gulshan Police Station, also charged councillor of the then Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Rahima Begum for assisting Faridur in dodging tax.
According to the FIR, the construction of a hospital at plot-15 of Gulshan-2 was completed on August 24, 2006 and it began operation. In 2007, the name of the hospital was changed to United Hospital and Faridur became the new owner.
The then deputy tax officer of DCC Nasir Uddin inspected the hospital and evaluated its annual value at Tk 29.38 crore. DCC issued a notice to the hospital authorities on August 26, 2007 fixing its trimester holding tax at Tk 88.15 lakh from August 24, 2006.
Faridur applied to the assessment review board (ARB) against the tax rate on September 12, 2007.
The four members of the ARB were the then councillor MA Kaium, councillor Rahima, engineer Kazi Jahirul Azam and lawyer Malek Molla.
In absence of the members, Rahima reduced the annual value of the hospital to Tk 24.97 crore on February 2, 2009 and re-fixed the trimester tax at Tk 74.93 lakh from August 24, 2006.
Rahima “misused her power” to benefit the United Hospital, reads the FIR.
Another notice was sent to the hospital on February 23, 2009. The graft watchdog in its inquiry found that till December 2011, DCC was supposed to get Tk 21.44 crore as holding tax from United Hospital. But due to the reduction, the total amount of holding tax of the private hospital from August 2006 to December 2011, stood at Tk 18.22 crore.
“By using different tricks, United Hospital have not paid Tk 21.44 crore and caused financial loss to the government,” said the FIR terming the act an offence under the penal code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947.