In the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, the Directorate of Income Tax (Investigation), North East Region (NER), till April 22, have already seized cash over Rs 8 crore. With this the Income Tax department claims to have broken all previous records of cash seizures made during general elections in the North East.
According to the Income Tax department, cash to the tune of Rs 1.21 crore was seized during Election Expenditure Monitoring for 2014 elections.
"Directorate of Income Tax Investigation, NER has exceeded all previous records of cash seizures made during general elections in the North East. For the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, the last polling date in North East is April 23. The Directorate has made cash seizure exceeding Rs 8 crores till April 22, which is nearly 7 times the previous haul. This amount compares favourably even with many other jurisdictions, which have much higher tax revenue base than North East."
Principal Director of Income Tax Investigation for NER, Sanjay Bahadur said this confiscation was possible because while preparing for the polls expenditure sensitive locations were identified in consultation with state authorities and police.
"The limited manpower of about 150 officials was strategically deployed to set up an extensive network of surveillance units to cover 112 districts and in 12 Air Intelligence Units (AIUs) for interception of unexplained cash," informed the department.
The department informed that a Special Task Force was constituted on April 22 which was jointly headed by Subhrajyoti Bhattacharjee, Additional Director and Nodal Officer and Mrinal Das, Joint Director heading AIUs. This task force would investigate suspicious high-value cash deposits and withdrawals in 68 banks operating in North East.
The Task Force will submit its preliminary findings within one month and strict consequential action, as per tax laws, will be initiated wherever unexplained cash deposits are found.