The department has deployed over 1,800 officials across the country.

 

New Delhi: In order to curb the use of black money during the Lok Sabha elections, the Income Tax (I-T) department has deployed over 1,800 officials across the country, sources have said.

A senior official close to the I-T department told The Sunday Guardian: “The I-T department has divided the whole country into four administrative zones and has deployed 1,800 officers at different locations of each zone. The I-T department has also identified 134 sensitive Lok Sabha constituencies that have a past record of massive use of black money during elections.”

“As many as 400 I-T officials have been deployed in each zone of the country and 200 senior I-T officials have been given charge to look into the constituencies that, according to the I-T department, are of a sensitive nature and have past track record of black money trail,” the same source cited above said.

“The I-T department has asked banks to give them information of transactions of big amounts and it has also asked the police to check the movement of illegal cash. The Investigation wing of the I-T department has deployed its officials on major airports, bus stands and railway stations across the country to prevent the movement of illegal cash. The I-T department has asked the police to seize cash if those in possession of the cash fail to tender a satisfactory explanation or provide evidence such as withdrawal receipt,” the above mentioned source said.

On the condition of anonymity, a senior I-T official told The Sunday Guardian: “In line with instructions of the Election Commission to curb the use of black money during the elections, the I-T department has set up a centralised control room for each zone so that the public can give real-time information regarding suspicious cash movement to the I-T department.”

According to the above mentioned I-T official, keeping in view the massive misuse of black money during polls, the I-T department has kept several states under the category of “focused states”. These states include Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Tripura and West Bengal. West Bengal will have staggered seven-phase polling in the upcoming elections.

The I-T department has already opened a helpline number for Northeast states and for West Bengal. As per sources, ever since the announcement of the election schedule for the 2019 general elections, the I-T department in West Bengal has already seized more than Rs 50 crore.

 

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