‘After Gujarat, maximum action taken under Benami Act in CG-MP’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 25 Nov 2017 09:34:26

Staff Reporter,


Nov 24

“Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh currently ranked No-2 in the country just after Gujarat in terms of action taken by Income Tax Department under Benami Properties Transaction Prohibition Act. The department has till now attached 58 such properties worth crores and details of all such evaders under the Act will be made public after adjudication.”  This disclosure was made by Prasana Kumar Dash, Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (PCCIT, Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh) while addressing a press conference at Aayakar Bhawan, Civil Lines, on Friday. Dash, who took over charge on November 13, was on his two-day maiden visit to Raipur.

An officer of vibrant profile and rich working experience in various ministries, Dash has previously served in the capacity of Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change since 2015. He has also worked as Director General, Election Commission of India (ECI) during 2010 to 2015. While laying an emphasis on the use of Information Technology, Dash, 1982-batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) cadre officer, advised the Assessing Officers to use Google Earth, ISRO website, website of real estate developers etc. and other digital instruments for conducting enquiries. He also communicated that a seminar on Benami Property Act will also be organized in January. E-learning materials will be given on website like FAQs along with handles for raising queries.

Shedding light on penny stock/Jamakharchi/paper companies/shell companies, the PCCIT explained that these are companies in the names of other persons and are a common instrument of layering unaccounted money. “The Stock Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government, have already de-listed such companies and toughest action has been assured against them in the coming future as Chhattisgarh State has quite a sizeable number of such companies,” he asserted.

Dash further affirmed that the Income Tax Department during the demonetization received 1000 pieces of information related to the taxpayers of Chhattisgarh. “The Department is dealing with such cases. Steps are being taken where suspicious information or spurious transactions have been found,” he averred. Regarding the budget collection, the PCCIT told the mediapersons that a budget target of Rs 5,290  crore has been fixed by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for Chhattisgarh for this financial year. The same was at Rs 4,241 crore last year.

“Though Rs. 1513.2 crores has been collected till now, the department is highly optimistic about achieving the budget target as there is a growth of 35% in tax collection this year. Moreover, two instalments of advance tax are pending. For widening the tax base, a target of another 1.87 lacs new tax payers has been fixed,” he added. The PCCIT also informed that the Chhattisgarh charge is now a full-fledged charge with the posts of three Principal Commissioners of Income Tax and Pr. DIT (Inv.), fully occupied. It was informed that in 68 cases prosecution proceedings have been initiated as on date in Chhattisgarh.

Meanwhile, the Principal Director (Investigation Wing), Alok Johri, also told the reporters that this year five surveys have been conducted by the Wing and in all these surveys it was found that penny stock companies were involved in routing the black money to the main group persons /entities. “Since March 2017, five searches have been conducted where there has been a seizure of about Rs. Five crores and unaccounted money to the tune of more than Rs. 30 crores has been prima-facie accepted,” he disclosed. 

Other senior officials also present during the press conference included S S S B Ray, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Raipur; Darshan Singh, Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, Bilaspur; S K Singh, Principal Commissioner of Income Tax-I, Raipur; Ajit B Korde, Principal Commissioner of Income Tax-II, Raipur; P K Mishra. Commissioner of Income Tax(Appeals) - I, Raipur; R K Singh, Commissioner of Income Tax(Appeals) - II , Raipur; Shital Shashwat Verma, Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, Range – I, Raipur; Shabana Parveen, Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, Range - II, Raipur and Priyanka Patel, Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax (Hq) (Admn), O/o the CCIT, Raipur Official sources, in the meantime, quoted that the maiden visit by the PCCIT (MP&CG), to Raipur has enthused the officers, officials and the other stakeholders such as taxpayers, Advocates and Chartered Accountants. His positive attitude and approach have brought with him winds of change and warmth in the culture of tax administration.