I-T Dept to reward informants during polls

Move to check use of black money during ensuing Assembly polls

“Under the provisions of the I-T Act, an informant who provides reliable information or tip-off to the investigation wing of the department is eligible for a reward equivalent to 10  per  cent of the tax collected from the source who is raided or searched by I-T officials based on such an input,”  a top I-T officer involved in the polls said.

All the I-T flying squads and expenditure observers deployed in the states have been asked to advertise the scheme through the local electoral office in their areas of responsibility. Such an information will be considered top priority and essential, the officer said.

I-T officials have also been asked to keep tab on the regular informers of the department, in their respective regions, during this period, he said.

Assembly polls are to be held in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and the Union Territory of Puducherry in  April and May.

All that an informant has to do is to communicate his information to the I-T officer or to the election expenditure observer of his region. The name of the informant will be kept confidential, he added.

The Election Commission has also asked I-T officials to take priority notice of information provided by such informants. The I-T department’s central investigation  unit  here, which is co-ordinating with the probe wings of the states, has till now seized Rs 11 crore and unearthed evasion of taxes to the tune of Rs 10 crore, since the investigation  units were deployed on the orders of EC.

While Rs 3 crore each has been seized in West Bengal and Assam, Rs 5 crore has been seized in the Chennai region.

Subsequent searches based on inputs of these seizures led the department to locate Rs 10 crore of unaccounted income, sources said. The EC has activated an expenditure monitoring cell with a senior Indian Revenue Service (I-T) officer at the command prior to the Assembly polls in Bihar last year.

It has now roped in the entire investigation machinery of the I-T department in these states and Puducherry going to the polls to keep a check on the expenditure of political parties and candidates.

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