THE Government has reason to pat itself on its back when it announced that black money worth Rs 65,250 crore was declared under the Income Tax Disclosure scheme. But some of the declarants are doing that to themselves, too.
Apparently unconcerned about the confidentiality clause, Surat businessmen are talking about their disclosures publicly, one
even displayed a poster outside his office until the tax department asked him to take it off.
At Rs 2,500 crore in disclosures of unaccounted income, Surat topped the list of cities in Gujarat where the statewide corpus was Rs 4,200 crore.
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The IDS kicked in June 1, the last date being September 30. In the first two months, sources said, not many were forthcoming after which Income Tax officials began an awareness drive, meeting realtors, textile and diamond businessmen and chartered accountants.
Suvidha Enterprise, a group of diamond merchants and realtors having construction sites at various places in Surat city like Katargam, Varachha, and Kapodara, put up banners outside their project site. One such banner in Katargam said, “The Firm Suvidha Enterprise is covered under Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS) 2016.”
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I-T officials, when contacted, declined to comment.
Proprietor of Suvidha Kishor Patel was unavailable for comment but a senior employee told The Indian Express on condition of anonymity: “Yes, we put up banners outside the main gate of our construction site at Ankur School crossroad. We have now removed it as there was pressure from the I-T department.”
Suvidha isn’t the only one. Realty firm Kakadia group’s owner Manhar Kakadia told The Indian Express: “I have disclosed Rs 152 crore under IDS and I am proud of it. It is our duty to disclose it and the money disclosed will not go in waste as it will be used by the government for development work. It is the duty of all citizens to disclose unaccounted money. I advised many of my friends who also actively participated in the IDS scheme”.
Kuberji Developers owner Naresh Agrawal said: “Under IDS, we disclosed unaccounted money to the tune of Rs 41 crore. We are happy that this money will go directly to Central government and it will be used for a good purpose — building bridges, roads, water canals, dams. Many people will benefit.”
Said realty firm Raj Green Group owner Sanjay Movaliya: “I have disclosed unaccounted money to the tune of Rs 42 crore and I am happy as it will benefit me eventually.”
In the last one hour to the deadline last Friday, from 11 pm to 12 am, an estimated Rs 100 crore was disclosed by businessmen in Surat, sources said. Over 60 per cent, sources said, came from businessmen related to real estate.