Income Tax department has geared itself against movement of cash in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Kishore Vyawahare, Director General of Income Tax (DGIT), Mumbai revealed the dept’s preparedness for the same on Monday.
Kishore said that he is aware of the fact that some of the cooperative banks and cooperative societies in the State are going to indulge into unaccounted cash dealings in this election and we are determined to check it.
Co-op banks and co-op credit societies are aghast at the Income Tax Department’s painting of all co-ops with the same brush. “There are hundreds of financial institutions including NBFCs which indulge in unaccounted cash-dealing and singling out co-operatives in this context is not fair”, say cooperators.
“If anything UCBs’ financial parameters including NPAs are much better compared to commercial and private banks”, cooperators sought to remind the DG of Income Tax.
The IT dept has, meanwhile decided to set up a 24×7 control room to receive credible actionable information from the general public on the illegal use of cash and other valuables. It has also published a toll-free number (1800221510) and a landline number (022-22820562) where anyone can lodge a complaint. “We would also reward them who provides us with credible info”, said the officer quotes PIB.
The DG said that the dept has also involved more than 200 tax officials and is engaging with other states and central agencies on the issue. Besides, it has also stationed a quick response team (QRT) in some of the districts in the state. The focus is on the movement of cash that is more than Rs 10 lakh.
The official also said that the Air Intelligence Unit of the tax authority has also been stationed at all air bases in Mumbai to keep a strict vigil on any movement of cash.
We are keeping a close watch on hawala operators or cash handlers, co-operative banks and state credit co-operative societies primarily, said Vyawahare.
The official claim is however diluted in the face of the fact that in the 2014 election the Dept failed to work on the intelligence inputs received by it. Of hundreds of complaints, the dept could work only on 2. A poor record!
Indian Cooperative is in the process of taking opinions of cooperators connected with UCBs and credit co-ops on the IT Dept’s latest move. We are also asking the leaders if IT dept is correct in its assessment that its only co-ops which indulge in the dirty business of cash-dealings.