Hyderabad: The Income Tax (IT) Department had set up an ‘Expenditure Monitoring Mechanism’ for the upcoming Telangana elections taking place on November 30.
Sanjay Bahadur, Director General of Income Tax (Investigation) said the department deployed 150 officers for election duty and QRT (Quick Response Teams) were formed at all 33 districts with officers of the Income Tax Department.
He said that as per the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) guidelines, if more than Rs 10 lakh in cash is found in a vehicle and there is suspicion of the commission of any crime or linkage to any candidate agent or party functionary, then the FST/SST shall seize the cash, and pass on the information to the Income-Tax authority, for necessary action under Income Tax laws.
A round-the-clock control room and complaint monitoring cell were set up to receive information/complaints from the general public regarding cash meant for illegitimate use in the election process.
People can inform on toll-free numbers – 1800-425-1785, Landline No. 040-23426201/23426202, WhatsApp/Telegram No. 7013711399, E-mail id: [email protected] were provided.
He further said that Air Intelligence Units (AIU) have been set up at Begumpet Airport and Rajiv Gandhi International Airport for 24 x 7 surveillance in coordination with CISF on movement of cash/valuables.
“AIUS at all other airports in India which have connectivity to Hyderabad have also been informed to keep continuous alert on passengers travelling to Hyderabad,” Sanjay Bahadur said.
He said the Election Seizure Management System (ESMS) App is being used for the first time by ECI in this election for verification of seizure reports. Since the announcement of elections, seizure reports pertaining to Rs.53.93 Cr amount of cash 156 Kg of gold jewelry, and 454 Kgs silver have been received from the Police/FST.
Out of the above, a total amount of Rs 1.76 Cr cash was found to be unexplained and has been seized by the Income Tax Department. No gold jewelry has been seized as unexplained. The verification of seizure data received is being done on a real-time basis within 24 hours, a press release said.
In addition to these steps, the Investigation directorate has started collecting data from the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) and several other relevant sources as well as analyzing the digital intelligence database of the Income Tax Department.
“The purpose of the exercise is to identify high-value cash transactions that raise suspicion about its use for the purpose of funding election campaigns. Appropriate action under the law will be undertaken in such cases,” he said.