I-T raids contractors in poll-bound Karnataka

The Income Tax Department on Tuesday conducted searches on a number of contractors in poll-bound Karnataka in connection with a tax evasion probe, officials said.

They said the raids are being conducted against at least 11 contractors in Mysuru and Bengaluru by the investigation wing of the department.

These contractors are linked to public works jobs rendered by them on government tenders, they said.

The department had last week said, has that it has “gathered details of all contract payments made in the last quarter of last financial year in the state and is making a comparison with previous years for identifying abnormal cases.”

This data is being co-related with all bank transactions and available cash withdrawal intelligence, it had said.

It had said that as part of the enhanced alertness in the wake of the single-phase polling scheduled on May 12, the investigation wing of the department in Karnataka and Goa has “stepped up its surveillance and monitoring activities”.

In an instance unearthed recently, the department claimed a contractor in one of the districts of the state was searched and it was found that “he had made payments to another person who in turn had withdrawn cash from the amount transferred”.

“The cash withdrawn of Rs 55 lakh was seized and the contractor also admitted to concealment of Rs 16 crore,” it had said.

The counting of the votes for the 224-member Assembly is scheduled on May 15.

The Election Commision has appointed a number of election expenditure observers in Karnataka, apart from other central observers, to keep a check on black money and illegal inducements used to bribe voters.

It had said that Rs 2,000 and 500 notes constitute 97% of the Rs 4.13 crore cash that the tax sleuths have seized in poll-bound Karnataka till now.

The revelation came in the backdrop of a cash crunch being witnessed across various regions in the country as a number of ATMs had gone dry.

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I-T raids contractors in poll-bound Karnataka

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