IT survey at BBC: The British have a long and notorious history of imposing their thoughts and mentality on others and viewing themselves as superior, believing they have the right to do whatever they want. However, if someone questions their actions, they become offended and have a problem with the country or person who is speaking out against them. At the same time, their supporters from all over the world come out of the woodwork to back them up.
Indian tax authorities raided the BBC’s offices in New Delhi and Mumbai on Tuesday. The IT survey was carried out as a result of BBC enormous profit-diversion activities and wilful disrespect for the Transfer Pricing Rules.
An update on the situation in India. pic.twitter.com/FYVFwdQWxE
— BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) February 14, 2023
Old History of Adulterated Tax Affairs
It’s interesting to note that the BBC has faced criticism before for falsified tax filings. According to a 2012 investigation by the public accounts committee in the United Kingdom, thousands of public employees, including those at the BBC, were not paying their taxes at the source (UK).
David Smith, who was the BBC’s head of employee tax at the time, acknowledged that 25,000 contracts totalling about 1500 employees had been given out on an off-the-books, freelance basis. But he insisted that the business complied with the law.
The BBC accepted that 148 out of its 467 presenters were hired through personal service companies, even though they were typically engaged for extended periods of time. Their agreements had the same characteristics as regular PAYE contracts.
In November 2018, the Comptroller and Auditor General published a 41-page official report that examined the inquiry of BBC’s interactions with personal service firms. It outlined the facts about the types of freelancers that the BBC hired and the issues that arise from doing so, particularly for those that it recruits through personal service businesses.
In 2019, the BBC was entangled in yet another dispute. According to the BBC’s annual report, the media company has set aside up to £12 million to pay off BBC broadcasters’ past tax bills.
IT survey at BBC: All of the left-wingers came out to root for BBC
All of the opposition parties began protesting loudly when the Indian Tax Authority raided the office of the BBC, claiming that it was a violation of democracy. They accused the BJP and Prime Minister Modi of taking action against the BBC due to their airing of a contentious documentary.
At the same time, Adnan Sami’s tweets have also sparked a discussion on social media about whether the singer is shifting allegiances. The situation relates to the controversy around the BBC documentary and a tweet by journalist Nidhi Razdan.
Umm.. Coming from someone who had her own definition & claims of ‘Harvard’, let’s be absolutely clear… By BBC, you mean ‘British Broadcasting Corporation’ right? https://t.co/D7P3wOwaqX
— Adnan Sami (@AdnanSamiLive) February 15, 2023
Md. Zubair, the self-proclaimed fact-checker, quickly came to Razdan’s defence, comparing Adnan Sami’s two tweets and concluding that the singer had experienced a change of heart regarding the BBC. Adnan, however, responded to set the record straight, but did so in a few, well-chosen words that effectively put Md. Zubair in his place.
Indeed I did. That was in 1976. That was a different time & had nothing to do with politics & that too in 2023. And, no, it seriously did not play any role in my Indian Citizenship. You are surely more intelligent than trying to fit an unrelated issue! Come on grow up my dear!😄 https://t.co/R1mJLSZPyh
— Adnan Sami (@AdnanSamiLive) February 15, 2023
However, the United States, the ally of the UK, has acknowledged the matter but has declined to comment on it.
The US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said “I couldn’t say. We’re aware of the facts of these searches, but I’m just not in a position to offer a judgement”
#WATCH | We are aware of the search of BBC offices in Delhi by Indian tax authorities. I would say more broadly that we support the importance of free press around the world: US State Dept Spokesperson Ned Price on IT survey at BBC offices in India pic.twitter.com/J6Jh1YFnTA
— ANI (@ANI) February 14, 2023
Also Read: Congress must introspect its own history before supporting BBC documentary
When the BBC Documentary was banned in India. A reporter asked about that to Ned Price to which he responded “I’m not familiar with the documentary you’re referring to. I am very familiar with the shared values that enact the United States and India as two thriving, vibrant democracies. When we have concerns about actions that are taken in India, we’ve voiced those we’ve had an occasion to do that.”
Notably, when the USA, one of the most trusted allies of the UK, is avoiding to comment on this BBC issue, why is the left leaning groups howling over it. In 2021, when the UK government banned the Hindi news channel Republic Bharat, many members of the left cabal celebrated on social media. However, when the Indian government banned a single documentary, they suddenly became vocal advocates of freedom of speech. Which shows their true colour.
The BBC was criticised by the Bharatiya Janata Party, who called it a “Bhrasht Bakwas Corporation” (corrupt rubbish corporation). The Congress has referred to the action with their pet response, as an “undeclared emergency”.
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