Tax officials to verify Bengal candidates’ assets

February 25th, 2011 - 12:12 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 24 (IANS) The Income Tax (IT) department will verify the assets declared by the candidates during filing of nominations in the upcoming West Bengal assembly elections and if any misappropriation was found, the individual will be disqualified, officials said Thursday.”After completion of the nomination process, we will verify the assets declared by the candidates and if misappropriations are found action will be taken against them. The Election Commission has assured us that the errant candidate will be disqualified,” said T.B.C. Rozaro, director general, Income Tax (Investigations) (East).

The IT department has been requisitioned by the poll panel to assist them in holding free and fair election.

In West Bengal, special intelligence units of the IT department will be set up at all the airports, railway stations, and other important locations to track movement of illegal cash.

“In airports, the department will function with the assistance of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which does the luggage screening of passengers. Anybody found carrying a sum of Rs. 20,000 or more will be immediately reported to the intelligence unit. The person concerned will be under our scanner and may be interrogated or detained if the money was found unaccounted for,” said Rozaro.

He added that the amount of Rs. 20,000 is just an indicative one, and considerations will be made in genuine cases like treatment, marriage, etc.

Rozaro further explained that the illicit cash could be in two forms - it could either be legitimate and properly accounted money, but may be used for influencing voters or it could be unaccounted money. The first case being a criminal offence, the person concerned will be handed over to the police, and in the second case, the unaccounted money will be seized by the IT officials.

“Such units will be set up in all the airports from where flights come to Kolkata and Bagdogra (in north Bengal). They will act on the information received from different intelligence agencies. So we have to collect intelligence inputs from other agencies.”

“We have already set up units at the airports. But manpower has to be increased and the measures will be stringently applied from the day the poll dates are declared and will carry on till the end of election,” said Rozaro.

Similar units will also be set up at important railway stations of the state. IT authorities admitted that the task will be a difficult one as there are no X-Ray machines at the railway stations. Frisking of passengers will be done on the basis of specific information but general passengers will not be harassed.

On specific inputs from Intelligence Bureau, the state intelligence unit and financial intelligence unit of IT department will carry out operations at highways and five star hotels, apart from airports and railway stations.

Round-the-clock control rooms operated by senior IT officers will be set up at the directorate of investigation office and in every districts to collect information about the movement of illicit cash.

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