Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

The Grape Escape - Final

Wine, Women and Song

In part II you read how GTDC disregarded all auditing standards in accepting a charge of Rs 3,66,750 submitted, rather crafted by Crosscraft Pvt Ltd, Rs 3,25,000 of which it billed without a single item explanation; merely a  consolidated figure for services rendered by it. 

This and other beyond belief facts that I mentioned unmistakably proved GTDC showed utter contempt for both tax payer and audit rules because with the exception of two suppliers, the rest submitted bills on letter heads, sometimes casually handwritten and without VAT deductions even.

The Entertainment Society of Goa which a couple of years ago had to reach deep down into its bag of tricks, coming out with this magical phrase ‘adaptive reuse’ finally got adept at adaptive reuse.  It leased out what is loosely called the Inox courtyard, which many erroneously think Inox owns, for a fee of Rs 1,13,438.

For many the annual Grape Escapade is an evening out on the social calendar and quaffing wine they consider the ultimate experience.  Never mind, they don’t drink it over the remaining days.  They, of course, would call this probe a case of sour grapes (pun intended). The bittersweet truth however is as follows:

-GTDC raised a bill on the Tourism Department charging it Rs 1,00,000 for travelling and transportation; Rs 1,00,000 for staff involvement; and Rs 1,96,544 as administrative charges.  Goodness knows, what the difference is between staff involvement and administrative charges, but if you have any unused imagination left, you figure it out.  As for me, it’s a case of, as the Bard put it so well, a rose by any other name…. By the way, these expenses tote up to Rs 3,96,544 which is the single largest expenditure after Crosscraft’s Rs 3,66,750, the Rs 2,29,474 spent on advertising i.e., Rs 1,83,648 advertising in the local papers plus the Rs 45,826 ad on Mumbai’s eveninger the Mid Day (all advertising done through Sean AdEvent) or the Rs 1,69,000 spent to hire entertainers.  Why on earth advertise on a Mumbai eveninger?

-Next, recall the two pre-receipted bills GTDC submitted to the Tourism Department which bankrolled the extravaganza; one for Rs 15,00,000 and the second for Rs 11,03,456.  A difference of Rs 3,96,544.  In other words the GTDC never intended to refund the Rs 3,96,544 for which it had no supporting bills because it just did not spend that money.  As the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the GTDC gets going.  In fact, there is no mention of this Rs 3,96,544 expense in the statement of bills GTDC submitted to the Tourism Department which has a total of 27 items.  It did however, as I said, submit this expenditure also as a pre-receipted bill dated 8 March 2007 to the Tourism Department which is how I got to it.  That leaves you with one last disturbing question to ask.  Is there really any serious auditing of your tax money?

-A total of Rs 1,69,000 was paid to 13 entertainers including Rs 40,000 to a group of Russian dancers who turned out to be the highest paid.  But, before you get all hot under the collar, remember there is no evidence to show exactly how much was actually paid to them because I believe the GTDC itself does not know.  You see, it did not actually pay them directly.  It did however submit a barely legible handwritten statement of payments made to all the entertainers including two payments of Rs 25,000 and Rs 15,000 made to a certain John Pinheiro on behalf of the Russian dancers.  By the way, 13 entertainers were hired to entertain over the three nights!  None of them submitted any bills, they each (the remaining 12 that is) simply signed a GTDC voucher and as they sang, danced or pranced all the way to the bank.

That’s why I called this series The Grape Escape!




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