The demonetisation move of the Narendra Modi Government may have short-term pains but new data has revealed some more positive effects. Due to the massive crackdown and heightened surveillance, there has been a three-fold increase in PAN ( permanent account number) card registrations and 18% rise in income tax returns filing. And also, with the Benami Property Act coming into effect, there also has been significant increase properties seizure by the tax department to 475, a Hindustan Times report said. After November 1, since the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act was notified for implementation, show cause notice was served in 520 cases.
Stating that it is the outcome of demonetisation, a top official of the tax department said, analysis of data collected during the months after note ban led to higher surveillance. “This is the effect of demonetisation and operation clean money launched in January, ” the official added. The tax official’s comment assumes significance as it comes days before the first anniversary of demonetisation. November 8 will be celebrated as anti-black money day by the government.
The official also stated that the tax department has identified 1.8 million cases of questionable cash deposits and suspected tax evasions. Of this, about 22,000 cases of “erratic behaviour” of the people have been noted which include filing returns for the first time or have revised their returns, the report said.
The official also revealed that, so far, 1.2 million has responded to the questionnaires out of 1.8 million that were sent. If the questionnaires go unanswered than action such as searches and surveys may be required, the official added. The tax department has two years to complete its scrutiny and assessment. It is also learnt that the taxman will also try and match the information provided in tax returns with data sourced from third parties such as banks.