Comprehensive plan unveiled to curb use of black money in Assembly elections
Directorate General of Income Tax (Investigation) Nitin Gupta on Tuesday unveiled a comprehensive plan to curb the use of black money in the Assembly polls.
He said the Income Tax (I-T) Department has seized ₹4 crore in unaccounted cash since the model code of conduct came into force on September 21. During the Lok Sabha polls, the department had seized ₹28 crore in unaccounted cash in the State, of which ₹16 crore was seized from Mumbai.
Mr. Gupta said, “We are working in close coordination with several law enforcement agencies and government departments for the conduct of free, fair and smooth elections.”
Senior I-T officials said a 24×7 control room has been set up to gather intelligence inputs and monitor movement of cash and valuables.
Nearly 40 Quick Response Teams have been deployed across Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. Air Intelligence Units have been set up at all functional airports/airstrips to monitor and check the flow of unaccounted cash and valuables.
“A comprehensive awareness programme has been launched on various platforms such as print and electronic media, outdoor media and social media,” said Anand Kumar, Principal Director of Income Tax-1, (Investigation Wing), Mumbai. Mr. Kumar is the nodal in-charge of the State polls.
The department has provided toll-free numbers (Mumbai: 1800221510; Pune: 18002330700, 18002330701; Nagpur: 1800233785), WhatsApp numbers and fax numbers for citizens to inform the department of suspicious activities. It has deployed 216 staff members in Mumbai, 259 in Pune, and 128 in Nagpur.
Last week, Election Commission officials and the police had seized ₹1 crore in cash from an SUV in Kandivali. Raids were carried out at several establishments, including diamond traders in south Mumbai. Janardhan S., Joint Director (Investigation Wing), said, “We are focussing mainly on angadias, who are the traditional mules for ferrying black money.”