Expanding its survey operations, the Income Tax department detected unexplained cash and sales worth Rs 100 crore in its crackdown on alleged profiteering and tax evasion by traders and other operators while converting demonetised currency notes. Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has written to police and paramilitary forces to check the movement of huge cash, particularly demonetized 500 and 1,000 rupee notes at civil airports, Delhi Metro, railway stations and bus stations.
Officials said the I-T department brought under its survey action multiple shops and trade counters in Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Mumbai and has made an inventory of excess cash and sale documents at these locations. “The operations have been expanded and records of excess sales and storage of cash have been made. The total value of these excess sales and cash at multiple cities is worth about Rs 100 crore. These cases are under investigation and traders have been asked to explain the transactions in due time,” an official said.
They said the department has also “impounded” some records of sales and have asked the operators and jewellery traders to produce the records at a later stage. In the meantime, a flier was intercepted by the air intelligence unit of the tax department at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in Delhi for carrying cash of about Rs 50 lakh in denominations of the demonetized notes. “The flier is being probed. A similar instance has taken place at Kolkata airport and it is under investigation,” the official said.
The CISF, tasked with security of 59 civil airports and Delhi Metro, has enhanced vigil after the Finance Ministry asked the force to keep an eye on instances of huge cash transportation. Under the survey action, the tax sleuths visit business premises of the trader/operator and make analysis of the available stock and record it, whereas under search operations both residential and business premises are visited by the taxman.
The action was launched by the I-T department after it had received “specific inputs” that some traders, jewellers, currency exchange agents and hawala dealers were allegedly exploiting the recent demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and were changing currencies at “discounted” prices, thereby profiteering illegally. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 8 announced demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.