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IT sleuths seize all-time high poll-time cash seizure of Rs 8 crore in NE

GUWAHATI: Directorate of Income Tax Investigation, NER has exceeded all previous records of cash seizures made during general elections in the North East.

Cash seizures of Rs. 1.21 crores was made by Income Tax during Election Expenditure Monitoring for 2014 elections. For the on-going 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 has attributed this phenomenal outcome to timely preparation for the polls and identification of expenditure sensitive locations in consultation with state authorities and police and to gathering of ground intelligence by Directorate investigators.

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. He praised the active cooperation extended by CEOs, state police, CISF, Assam Rifles, CRPF, BSF and banks in this intense effort to throttle the use of black money during election process.

A Special Task Force jointly headed by Subhrajyoti Bhattacharjee, Additional Director & Nodal Officer and Mrinal Das, Joint Director heading AIUs has also been constituted on April 22 to investigate thousands of 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. The Directorate is being assisted by Financial Intelligence Unit of India in this exercise aimed at striking at the sources and conduits of cash flow during and immediately preceding elections in a decisive manner. It will also scrutinise affidavits of all candidates filed before Election Commission for any suppression of declared assets or liability and submit a report to ECI.

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