BBC India: Tax officials accuse organisation of irregularities
Indian tax authorities say they have uncovered irregularities in the BBC’s accounting books after searches at the broadcaster’s offices in the country.
The statement, which does not directly name the BBC, comes after officials carried out a three-day operation at premises in Delhi and Mumbai this week.
The BBC says it will continue to co-operate. It will respond to any direct communication from tax officials.
The allegations come amid a row in India over a BBC documentary.
On Friday India’s Income Tax Department said it had carried out a “survey” at the Delhi and Mumbai offices of a “prominent international Media Company” involved in “content in Hindi, English and various other Indian languages”.
It said income and profits disclosed by the organisation’s units were “not commensurate with the scale of operations in India”.
The findings “indicate that tax has not been paid on certain remittances which have not been disclosed as income in India by the foreign entities of the group”, the statement added.
On Thursday, following a three-day search of its offices in India, the BBC said: “We will continue to co-operate with the authorities and hope matters are resolved as soon as possible.”
The statement continued: “We are supporting staff – some of whom have faced lengthy questioning or been required to stay overnight – and their welfare is our priority.
“Our output is back to normal and we remain committed to serving our audiences in India and beyond.
“The BBC is a trusted, independent media organisation and we stand by our colleagues and journalists who will continue to report without fear or favour.”
The BBC’s documentary, India: The Modi Question, was broadcast on television only in the UK, but the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attempted to block people sharing it, describing it as “hostile propaganda and anti-India garbage” with a “colonial mindset”.