Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], 14 January (ANI): Family members of the last Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman Ali Khan have written to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam urging her to resolve the Nizam Jewellery Trust income and wealth tax issue which has been pending with the Income Tax department for the last 26 years.
Najaf Ali Khan, grandson of the last Nizam urged for a one-time settlement of the issue stating that 39 of the 114 beneficiaries from the Nizam Family had either expired during this period and most of those remaining were senior citizens facing health and financial issues.
In the 1950s, the last Nizam had created various Trusts, one of which was the Nizam Jewellery Trust. The Trustees, which included Prince Muffakham Jah and a government nominated official from the Finance Ministry, were empowered to sell the jewellery.
In a statement, Khan said that the Government of India had in 1995 agreed to purchase jewellery for Rs 206 crore after the intervention of the Supreme Court. The Corpus was distributed among 114 beneficiaries from the Nizam Family. Around the time the Trustees were to hand over the Jewellery, the Income Tax department raised a total demand of Rs 30.50 crore towards arrears of Income Tax and Wealth Tax.
"The amount was paid from Rs 206 crore on 12.01.1995 which included Rs.15.45 crore arrears of Income Tax and Wealth Tax of which a major portion of this amount later got resulted in Refunds. These Refunds were wrongly adjusted with the instruction of Trustees of the said Trust who never proposed a one-time settlement with the Income Tax then itself. The other amount of Rs. 14.05 crore was kept as lien with the Department for future Tax liabilities in State Bank of Hyderabad, now State Bank of India," said Khan.
"As of date, the dispute is regarding arrears and refunds. According to records, beneficiaries are liable to receive a refund along with a lien amount of about Rs 14 crore but the Income Tax Department states that Rs 8.54 crore is approximately due on us towards taxes. We have been paying our taxes regularly, and this issue would not have dragged for so many years had the Trust acted responsibly and sought a one-time solution," he said. (ANI)