ALIGARH: A narrow road, littered with garbage leads to the 225 sq ft dilapidated house of Mukesh Kumar, who is now the famed ‘kachori wala’ who has grabbed the headlines of national media because of his purported annual sales of Rs 70 lakh, as pegged by GST officials. An old rickety desert cooler runs in the bedroom, where some plastic chairs are kept for visitors. No car is parked outside the house but an old black coloured bicycle and a TVS moped stand, leaning against the wall inside the house.
Mukesh’s house, on Gular Road, is located about a km away from his shop, which was raided by GST officials a week ago. The road leading to his house is so narrow that three persons can’t even stand together side by side.
His tiny 4ft/4ft kachori shop, which was taken by his father, Makhan Lal (75), on rent about 12 years ago is no better but is trending on social media following the raid. Though his kachori businesses is doing well now, he had earlier unsuccessfully tried his hands to run a general store and cigarette shop.
Makhan Lal claimed his three sons have houses but these are too small. He claimed that his sons Mukesh Kumar (40), Bhagwan Das (35) and Bunty (29) help him in his business, which is not as big as is being projected by the tax officials.
Lal alleged that he is a victim of a conspiracy hatched by someone who had a fight with his daughter-in-law a month ago. “That man is powerful and is literate and is targeting my family by making false allegations,” said Lal. “Our average monthly income is not more than Rs 1.5 lakh a month. We do not come under GST tax regime. My business just manages to feed the 15 family members, including seven minor children.”
Lal said that now he got his shop registered under GST as he has no choice.
While Lal is stressed out, his younger son, Bhagwan Das, who usually looks after the shop, was calm and responding to all the queries by this correspondent. Bhagwan told TOI that every cloud has a silver lining and they might garner more business in near future as their shop has become famous, rather ill-famous, across the nation after the raid.
Bhagwan said he pays Rs 300 as rent for the kachori shop and that they have taken up two additional rooms on rent for Rs 1,200 to store goods. He claimed they sold a plate of two kachoris for Rs 24 and a cup of raita for Rs 5.
Das’s neighbour, Anil Gupta, who owns a sweet shop next to him, also came out in support of Makhan Lal. Gupta said the entire incident is nothing but harassment.
Meanwhile, giving details of their preliminary findings, deputy commissioner commercial tax office (state bureau GST) RPS Kauntey, who led the investigation, told TOI that after three days’ recce during different times of the day, he with his team members raided the shop on June 20 during the lean sale timing of 2 pm to 4 pm and not during peak hours of 7 am to 10:30 am or weekends and holidays.
Kauntey said that during the raid 45 people had eaten kachoris at the shop and many customers had asked for takeaway packs, numbering 20. Besides, 100 dough balls were kept ready for frying, he added.
Kauntey told TOI that at the time of the raid, the shopkeeper himself confessed that 10 kg of curd costing Rs 800 is used in one day, besides 15 litres of refined oil worth Rs 1,000 is used a day and one commercial gas cylinder worth Rs 1,800 lasts three days. The shopkeeper told the officials that he also used spices, potatoes and flour worth Rs 1,500 a day, said Kauntey
The official claimed that the shopkeeper also told the tax officers that he paid Rs 300 a day to two employees who work in his shop. Kauntey said Mukesh Kachori Bhandar’s daily expense is around Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,000, and his income is much higher than what he is claiming now.
GST officials raided the kachori seller in Aligarh and claimed that the annual turnover was over Rs 70 lakh. It was found that the shop owner, Mukesh Kumar, had not registered under the GST Act though his income was well under its ambit, claimed the officials.
According to a GST Council notification, any business with an annual turnover of Rs 40 lakh is liable to pay GST. This 40 lakh limits, which was earlier Rs 20 lakh, was increased from April 1, 2019 only. Officials said as per rules the kachori seller is liable to pay 5% GST, which is levied on food items. According to a State GST official, a complaint was received against the shop owner in Lucknow’s Revenue Intelligence department.
Source : https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/gst-raid-millionaire-kachori-wala-lives-in-a-dilapidated-225-sq-ft-house/articleshow/69980361.cms