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IT sleuths, bank officials monitoring deposits

By Correspondent

SHILLONG, Nov 15 - Income Tax sleuths and bank officials are keeping an extra vigil in �tax haven� States of the Northeast to monitor any �suspicious� flow in bank deposits.

Resident tribals of Scheduled Areas of Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Assam are exempted from Income Tax under Section 10 (26) of the Income Tax Act, 1921. Under the Section, any tribal residing and earning in a Scheduled Area is exempted from paying income tax. The provision falls under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. But this category of the population has to pay other taxes like sales, excise and service.

However, in the current scenario even a tribal would have to give accounts of the cash (over Rs 2.5 lakh) being deposited in banks. All the banks are therefore eagle-eyed on possible spike in deposits.

In such a scenario of a suspiciously high deposit, the banks would inform the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) through set mechanisms. The NSDL in turn would alert the concerned IT Department to carry on the investigation. The case may be taken up further by other enforcement agencies, like the Enforcement Directorate or the CBI.

�Anyone, tribal or non-tribal, depositing cash over Rs 2.5 lakh would have to give their account. If a scheduled tribe can�t give an account of the source of the cash, the person would be penalised 200 per cent on the payable tax, like anyone else in the country,� a top income tax official said here today.

Moreover, there are various checks being conducted to ensure the Scheduled Tribes are not exploited by black-marketeers, militants and terrorists, who may try clandestinely to exchange their unaccounted money.

�There is a strict vigilance to ensure the tribals are not exploited in these Scheduled States,� the official from the Commissioner of Income Tax in Shillong added.

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IT sleuths, bank officials monitoring deposits

SHILLONG, Nov 15 - Income Tax sleuths and bank officials are keeping an extra vigil in �tax haven� States of the Northeast to monitor any �suspicious� flow in bank deposits.

Resident tribals of Scheduled Areas of Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Assam are exempted from Income Tax under Section 10 (26) of the Income Tax Act, 1921. Under the Section, any tribal residing and earning in a Scheduled Area is exempted from paying income tax. The provision falls under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. But this category of the population has to pay other taxes like sales, excise and service.

However, in the current scenario even a tribal would have to give accounts of the cash (over Rs 2.5 lakh) being deposited in banks. All the banks are therefore eagle-eyed on possible spike in deposits.

In such a scenario of a suspiciously high deposit, the banks would inform the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) through set mechanisms. The NSDL in turn would alert the concerned IT Department to carry on the investigation. The case may be taken up further by other enforcement agencies, like the Enforcement Directorate or the CBI.

�Anyone, tribal or non-tribal, depositing cash over Rs 2.5 lakh would have to give their account. If a scheduled tribe can�t give an account of the source of the cash, the person would be penalised 200 per cent on the payable tax, like anyone else in the country,� a top income tax official said here today.

Moreover, there are various checks being conducted to ensure the Scheduled Tribes are not exploited by black-marketeers, militants and terrorists, who may try clandestinely to exchange their unaccounted money.

�There is a strict vigilance to ensure the tribals are not exploited in these Scheduled States,� the official from the Commissioner of Income Tax in Shillong added.