Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the VAT department was not carrying out raids on traders and termed as “completely false” such whispers as he appealed to the city’s shopkeepers to report to police if anyone claimed to be from the agency. Kejriwal’s appeal came a day after the I-T department carried out raids in Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh and Dariba Kalan in Delhi in the wake of reports of alleged profiteering and subsequent tax evasion by traders while converting demonetised currency notes in an illegal manner.
“Rumour that Del VAT dept doing raids. Completely false. No raids by VAT. If anyone claims to be from VAT, ask for his ID n report to police (sic),” the Delhi Chief Minister tweeted. “Modi-ji gets raids carried out on everyone here, but does not do so on his friends,” he said in another tweet, taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Earlier in the day, a section of city traders, led by AAP’s Trade Wing convenor Brijesh Goel, met Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in this regard. Sisodia told them the VAT department was not carrying out raids and that the Income Tax department was involved in such act instead. The government has also started two helpline numbers — 155055 and 1800110066 — for traders to seek any clarification in this regard.
On Thursday, shopkeepers in Chandni Chowk area had shut their shops early following “rumours” of raids by the Income Tax department. On Friday as well, most of traders did not open their shops fearing action.