Mumbai: The Directorate General of Income Tax (Investigation) is working 24*7 to curb the use of black money and cash inducement in the ongoing Assembly Elections in the state, said Director General of Income Tax (Investigation), Shri Nitin Gupta in Mumbai today. Addressing a press conference in Mumbai today, the Director General said that illegal cash worth 4 crore rupees approx. has been seized by the Department, since the declaration of Model Code of Conduct by the Election Commission of India, on September 21, 2019.
Elaborating on the steps taken by the Department, the DG informed the media that Principal Director of Income Tax-1, (Investigation Wing), Mumbai Shri. Anand Kumar has been designated as the Nodal Officer for Income Tax Department for the whole of Maharashtra. He said that the Department is working in close coordination with several law enforcement agencies and other government departments, in order to contribute to the conduct of free, fair and smooth elections.
The DG informed that on the regulatory front, a system has been put in place to gather intelligence inputs regarding movement of cash and valuables and to take immediate action in this regard. 24*7 control rooms are operational at Mumbai, Pune & Nagpur and 40 Quick Response Teams – including six in Mumbai, have been set up at various districts / constituencies across the state. Apart from this, Air Intelligence Units (AIUs) at all the functional airports/airstrips have been set up, in order to monitor and check the flow of unaccounted cash and valuables.
Shri Gupta said that a comprehensive sensitization and awareness programme has been launched and that various media platforms such as print and electronic media, outdoor media and social media are being used. These include:
Newspaper advertisements in Hindi, Marathi and English language papers
Promotional standees placed at prominent locations and around airports
Radio promotions on FM channels
Social media promotion through Facebook page
Messages (audio/video) through celebrities
He added that the department has also provided toll free numbers, WhatsApp numbers and fax numbers, using which citizens can inform the Department of suspicious activities.
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The DG informed that upon receiving information from public / police /other agencies, Verification process is initiated through QRT’s and that if the information is found credible, requisite action is taken as per IT Act, 1961.
Responding to a media query, the DG informed that illegal cash worth approximately 28 crore rupees was seized in whole of Maharashtra during the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, out of which around Rs.16 crores was from Mumbai.