NEW DELHI, India, April 17 (Reuter): The Indian government has begun an inquiry into alleged evasion of customs duties that has sent the Blue-chip shares of textile giant Reliance Industries plunging.

Reliance, ranked fifth among India’s companies not controlled by the government, faces a charge of evading duty of 1.2 billion rupees (96 million dollars) on the importation of a complete polysterfibre yarn plant, Brahm Dutt, Minister of State for Finance, told Parliament yesterday.

Dutt said the charges involved the undervaluing of the price of the plant.

He said the government has ordered an inquiry and told the company the government could confiscate the plant to recover any owed duty.

Dutt said the company had been asked in a showcase order on February 10 to explain why the entire plant should not be confiscated and why the company should not be punished.

After dutt’s statement in Parliament, Reliance shares fell on the Bombay and Delhi Stock exchanges to 184 rupees (14.72 dollars) yesterday from 210 rupees (16.80 dollars) a week ago and a record 392 rupees (31.36 dollars) last June.

Article extracted from this publication >>  April 24, 1987