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India

2% TDS for cash withdrawals above Rs 1 crore proposed

In a bid to promote digital payments and curb black money, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday proposed tax deduction at source (TDS) of two per cent on cash withdrawals exceeding Rs 1 crore in a year from a bank account.

“Our Government has taken a number of initiatives in the recent past for the promotion of digital payments and less cash economy,” Sitharaman said while presenting her first Union Budget.

The Finance Minister also proposed that business establishments with an annual turnover of more than Rs 50 crore shall offer low cost digital modes of payment to their customers and no charges or Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) shall be imposed on customers as well as merchants.

“RBI and banks will absorb these costs from the savings that will accrue to them on account of handling less cash as people move to these digital modes of payment,” Sitharaman said.

“Necessary amendments are being made in the Income Tax Act and the Payments and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 to give effect to these provisions,” she added.

(IANS)

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India

Rs 1.48 cr cash seized from AMMK premises in Theni

The Income Tax (I-T) Department early on Wednesday claimed to have seized cash amounting to Rs 1.48 crore from the premises of an AMMK functionary in Andipatti in Theni district.

The IT officials began their search late on Tuesday that ended at 5.30 a.m. on Wednesday, an official said.

He claimed that the unaccounted cash amounted to Rs 1.48 crore. “This cash was neatly packed in 94 packets/envelops on which the ward number, number of voters and the amount of Rs 300 per voter was written. All these wards are within Andipatti Assembly segment which is going to bypoll tomorrow (Thursday),” the IT official said.

The premises belongs to a functionary of AMMK party. In fact, the AMMK party office is functioning in the ground floor, he added.

According to the IT official, a person present at the premises in a sworn statement said Rs 2 crore in cash was brought in there for distribution to voters in Andipatti panchayat union area on April 16.

Initially a group of party workers overpowered the flying squad persons standing guard outside the premises, broke open the door and snatched some cash packets.

Police had to fire warning shots that prompted the miscreants to flee with a few cash packets, but they also dropping some of them.

All the remaining cash in 94 bundles (Rs 1.48 crore) was seized along with the envelopes, the IT official added.

A postal ballot paper for Andipatti Assembly by-election which was already marked for AMMK candidate was also found in the premises and was seized, the officer claimed.

The District Collector and Superindentent of Police reached the spot and supervised the security. The police has filed an FIR against a number of persons.

Meanwhile, IT officials and Election Commission’s static surveillance team on Tuesday night also searched the residence of Rajya Sabha member and DMK leader Kanimozhi in Thoothukudi on receipt of an information.

The search team left empty handed apologising to Kanimozhi as the information turned out to be wrong.

IANS

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India

Congress accuses Bharatiya Janata Party of using cash for votes

The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP of a ‘Cash For Vote Scandal’, sharing a video of officials seizing Rs 1.8 crore from the convoy of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and state BJP President Tapir Gao ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in the state.

Speaking to the media, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the midnight raid on the convoy of Khandu, his deputy Chowna Mein and Gao “exposes the brazen corruption and poll violation.”

He said “if the video is true, then where is the Election Commission? Are they sleeping? Where is the Enforcement Directorate?”

Videos surfaced on social media showing police officers counting the cash in the presence of the Election Commission’s Expenditure Officer Samrita Kaur Gill.

The cash was being reportedly transported in certain vehicles parked at the Siang Guest House, Pasighat. Five vehicles were searched in the presence of the complainants who belonged to the Youth Congress, he said.

The search resulted in the seizure of Rs 1.80 crore in notes of Rs 500 denomination, Surjewala claimed.

The Congress has raised a number of questions, including if the cash was being transferred for the rally of Modi in Pasighat on Wednesday in the CM’s convoy and through the state BJP President.

“Where did such a large amount come from? Gao has been a habitual offender. Before Manipur elections, he was stopped by the Income Tax department with a large amount of cash at Guwahati airport while he was coming from poll-bound Manipur,” he said.

He also questioned if the cash was transferred for Modi’s morning rally. “Is it not a clear cut case of ‘Chowkidar’ becoming ‘Chor’?”

Surjewala demanded the cancellation of the candidature of Gao from the West Arunachal seat and the resignation of Khandu.

IANS