Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Demonetisation: Income Tax department faces massive challenge

Demonetisation: Income Tax department faces massive challenge

The fact that Notes Ban is more work for the honest and an opportunity for others is being proved time and again.

The #NotesBan announced on 8th of November resulted in unprecedented chaos. People have waited in huge queues to deposit their old 500 and 1000 rupee notes. There were initially huge lines to exchange these notes till the Government rescinded on their promise and stopped the notes exchange. There is still a huge queue infront of ATMs whenever money is loaded in the ATMs as most of the times there is no cash in the ATMs as well as in the banks.

There were indeed some people who had undeclared income stored as cash and they were initially stunned. But later they found out easy route to exchange their old notes by giving commission. Overnight a cottage industry sprung up to exchange old notes. Unscrupulous bank employees and Income Tax commissioners have teamed up to exchange old notes. So the people pay anywhere between 30 to 35% to exchange their notes.

The Government came out with Scheme to penalise people by charging a tax of 50% on their unaccounted deposits in the banks and these money had to be locked for 4 years. Obviously people prefer to pay commission as it is cheaper and also no one now believes that the Income Tax authorities won't harass them later.

In the Income Tax department the honest employees and the lower level staff are not involved in these commission business. They find that there is much more work involved due to the #Demonetisation .  Two income tax staff associations have now written letters to the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. Income Tax Gazetted Officers Association and Income Tax Employees Federation have said that Personnel and Infrastructure are severely short.

They have written that "The entire department is totally demotivated due to the huge shortage of manpower in lower cadres and huge stagnation in officers's cadre. Must have adequate manpower, especially at key positions, be provided with proper infrastructure facilities so that the workforce stays motivated, committed and highly spirited at this moment".

Clearly it would be a tough task to inspect all the bank accounts. The Income Tax department can ofcourse generate and send queries to lot of people. However, following up their responses and deciding on those would be a massive challenge. That is not going to happen soon enough for the Prime Minister to get political mileage. So there is indeed lot of Psychological warfare inform of announcement threatening people of dire consequences if they don't announce their blackmoney. Read more:

It seems to be strange that the team briefing the Prime Minister never thought about these issues before strongly suggesting the PM to go for demonetisation. 


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