GUWAHATI, Jan 11 � Tax evasion has become a major problem for Assam and though the Bureau of Investigation of Economic Offences (BIEO) of the Assam Police detects such cases from time to time, those can be termed as tips of the iceberg.
In the current financial year itself, the BIEO has so far detected tax evasion amounting to more than Rs 1.50 crore. Those were only specific cases and it is not possible for the Bureau to investigate all cases of tax evasion. BIEO sources told The Assam Tribune that the Bureau has limited manpower and it can investigate only a handful of cases of tax evasion.
Sources said that the Bureau deals with such cases after receiving tip-offs on major tax evasion and it is up to the State Tax Department to look into cases of evasion. Sources revealed that it is not possible for the BIEO to check the records of all traders and businessmen to ascertain whether they are paying taxes regularly to the state exchequer.
Sources pointed out that whenever the Bureau detects major cases of tax evasion, the same are forwarded to the Tax Department for realisation of the tax and fines. �We only operate on the basis of hard intelligence and with more manpower, the performance of the BIEO in detecting tax evasion could have been better,� sources added.
BIEO sources further pointed out that lack of awareness among the common people is also helping traders to evade tax. The customers should always demand proper cash memo from the traders to prevent them evading tax, but in Assam, most customers do not care to take the same while making purchases, sources added.
Meanwhile, only early this week, the BIEO detected a major case of tax evasion after raiding the residence of the owner of Brahmaputra Hardware. Giving details of the case, sources said that acting on a tip-off, the BIEO officials raided the residence of Jitendra Begani, the owner of the Brahmaputra Hardware in the Lal Ganesh area of the city and found that he brought gold and GI wires worth Rs 10 crore in the last one year but evaded tax amounting to more than Rs 50 lakh. Further investigation into the matter is on.
In another major case recently, the BIEO detected tax evasion amounting to Rs 39 lakh by Udayak Agro Products Private Limited.
If so much of evasion can be detected only in two cases, one can easily understand how much money is lost by the State Government because of tax evasion every year, sources pointed out.