Post-demonetization action begins, IT surveys in 7 business establishments

*More such harsh steps on the cards in near future

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Feb 22: The post-demonetization action has begun in Jammu and Kashmir with the Income Tax Department conducting surveys in the premises of seven businessmen who had deposited huge cash in their bank accounts after November 9, 2016 in glaring mismatch with their Income Tax returns. The IT sleuths are going to take more such harsh steps in near future as they are in the process of scrutinizing the data obtained from various banks.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that on the directions of Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, J&K Circle, Sangeeta Gupta, the sleuths of Income Tax Department today carried out simultaneous surveys in the premises of seven businessmen in the heart of Jammu city after analyzing that these businessmen had deposited huge cash in their respective bank accounts, which was not at all in consonance with their Income Tax returns.
The surveys which started in the evening continued till late tonight with IT sleuths laying hands on incriminating documents, which will be put to detailed scrutiny within next few days. However, the preliminary examination revealed that even after depositing huge cash between November 9, 2016 and December 30, 2016, which they had gathered by concealing income from their businesses, they had not mend their ways and were still indulging in hiding their income, sources said.
The establishments which were surveyed included Nectar Commercial Private Ltd, which deals in real estate, M/s Balbir Singh Choudhary Flour Mill, M/s Sawan Mal Girdhari Lal (a wholesale merchant), Ajanta Electronics Paloura, Sanjay Kumar and Amit Kumar (readymade garments seller) at Hari Market.
“These businessmen were of the opinion that by depositing huge cash in their bank accounts they will be able to make the deposited amount white as such they chose not to come forward to avail the benefit of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY)”, sources said.
It is pertinent to mention here that PMGKY was notified by Union Finance Ministry on December 16, 2016 and it is applicable till March 31, 2017. By way of this scheme, the Government has offered last window to the people with unaccounted deposits to come clean or face stringent penalties.
Disclosing that more such surveys are in the offing, sources said that Income Tax Department is in the process of collecting information from all bank accounts and correlating the same with existing income tax data to ascertain whether the deposited money is explained or not.
“The department has prepared some lists of such persons also as they have not come forward to avail benefit of PMGKY even after depositing huge cash in their bank accounts”, they further said while informing that very few people have opted for PMGKY till date despite much awareness generated by the Income Tax Department’s senior officers by conducting programmes in different parts of the State.
When asked, they said, “still those who have deposited huge money in their bank accounts have the chance to avail the benefit of PMGKY and after March 31, 2017 no window would be able to them to escape the dragnet of the Income Tax Department”.
They said that those who declare cash deposits, made in an account with bank or post office or with a specified entity, under this scheme will be levied a charge of 50%, which breaks down into 30% tax, 33% surcharge and 10% penalty. In addition to this, 25% of the amount declared will go into the non interest-bearing Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme for four years and part of PMGKY’s proceeds will be used for the benefit of the poor.
“The declarations under PMGKY will be confidential and will not be admissible as evidence under any Act-Central Excise Act, Wealth-Tax Act, Companies Act etc and those taking advantage of this scheme will escape prosecution”, they said. However, no immunity will be available under criminal acts mentioned in Section 199-O of the Scheme, sources added.
A senior officer of the Income Tax Department said that those who fail to take advantage of the scheme and caught later will face up to 85% penalty, besides prosecution.