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I-T keeping tab on illegal cash flow

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 4 � The Income Tax Department - mandated by the Election Commission (EC) to keep vigil on the movement of illegal movement of cash in connection with poll-related expenditures of candidates - is adopting a slew of measures to keep a tab on illicit money power.

"The mandate of the I-T Department covers surveillance over movement of large amounts of cash through airports, important railway stations, hotels, farmhouses, financial brokers, bond brokers, cash couriers and also on border movement of cash. We have also been mandated to oversee any expenditure on fake social ceremonies," TM Das, Director, Income Tax (Investigation), NER, told the media today.

The services of the Directorate General of Income Tax (Investigation) at Kolkata and its subordinate offices in Assam have been requisitioned by the EC for the purpose.

In Guwahati, the office of the Director of Income Tax (Investigation), NER at Aayakar Bhawan, Christian Basti, GS Road has opened a 24x7 toll-free call centre/control room to receive any complaints of unexplained movement of cash and other articles, and will also keep close surveillance over ostentatious expenditure.

"In addition, it would receive information from all expenditure and general observers and the offices of the deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of every district regarding movement of undisclosed cash," Das said, adding that every district would be monitored by flying squads/officials of the I-T Department that would be located in every district headquarters for the purpose of maintaining surveillance and to liaise with the district-level control rooms and officials of the civil administration.

The contact details of the I-T officials in every district are being made public so that any person desirous of giving information regarding movement of large amount of undisclosed cash or goods and articles for distribution etc. can do so.

"Intelligence units are also being placed at airports, Railway stations and other important locations to act upon real-time intelligence received from any source, including from expenditure/general observer and district/State-level officers of the civil administration," Das said.

Das added that financial authorities, banks and financial institutions had been asked by the EC to report any suspicious withdrawal of cash from any bank account of any individual for close monitoring by the I-T Department.

"The Directorate of Investigation will scrutinize the affidavits filed by the candidates declaring their assets and verify those with information available with the I-T Department for reporting to the Commission any suppression of information about assets or liability or pending dues. It will also report about those political parties which are taking donations and enjoying tax exemptions without auditing their accounts or without filing statutory returns," Das said.

On possible election link of the recent seizure of gold worth Rs 2 crore in the LGB International Airport, Das said that the matter was under investigation.

Referring to the reported use of undisclosed cash and other articles distributed during election to lure voters - often adopting innovative methods to camouflage ostentatious poll expenditure in the name of birthday ceremony, mundane ceremony, marriage anniversary, etc., Das said that any attempt to lure voters was an offence under Section 171B of IPC and also a corrupt practice under Section 123 of the Representation of People's Act, 1951.

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I-T keeping tab on illegal cash flow

GUWAHATI, March 4 � The Income Tax Department - mandated by the Election Commission (EC) to keep vigil on the movement of illegal movement of cash in connection with poll-related expenditures of candidates - is adopting a slew of measures to keep a tab on illicit money power.

"The mandate of the I-T Department covers surveillance over movement of large amounts of cash through airports, important railway stations, hotels, farmhouses, financial brokers, bond brokers, cash couriers and also on border movement of cash. We have also been mandated to oversee any expenditure on fake social ceremonies," TM Das, Director, Income Tax (Investigation), NER, told the media today.

The services of the Directorate General of Income Tax (Investigation) at Kolkata and its subordinate offices in Assam have been requisitioned by the EC for the purpose.

In Guwahati, the office of the Director of Income Tax (Investigation), NER at Aayakar Bhawan, Christian Basti, GS Road has opened a 24x7 toll-free call centre/control room to receive any complaints of unexplained movement of cash and other articles, and will also keep close surveillance over ostentatious expenditure.

"In addition, it would receive information from all expenditure and general observers and the offices of the deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of every district regarding movement of undisclosed cash," Das said, adding that every district would be monitored by flying squads/officials of the I-T Department that would be located in every district headquarters for the purpose of maintaining surveillance and to liaise with the district-level control rooms and officials of the civil administration.

The contact details of the I-T officials in every district are being made public so that any person desirous of giving information regarding movement of large amount of undisclosed cash or goods and articles for distribution etc. can do so.

"Intelligence units are also being placed at airports, Railway stations and other important locations to act upon real-time intelligence received from any source, including from expenditure/general observer and district/State-level officers of the civil administration," Das said.

Das added that financial authorities, banks and financial institutions had been asked by the EC to report any suspicious withdrawal of cash from any bank account of any individual for close monitoring by the I-T Department.

"The Directorate of Investigation will scrutinize the affidavits filed by the candidates declaring their assets and verify those with information available with the I-T Department for reporting to the Commission any suppression of information about assets or liability or pending dues. It will also report about those political parties which are taking donations and enjoying tax exemptions without auditing their accounts or without filing statutory returns," Das said.

On possible election link of the recent seizure of gold worth Rs 2 crore in the LGB International Airport, Das said that the matter was under investigation.

Referring to the reported use of undisclosed cash and other articles distributed during election to lure voters - often adopting innovative methods to camouflage ostentatious poll expenditure in the name of birthday ceremony, mundane ceremony, marriage anniversary, etc., Das said that any attempt to lure voters was an offence under Section 171B of IPC and also a corrupt practice under Section 123 of the Representation of People's Act, 1951.