Tyre worth Rs 2.1 crore in IT net; Rs 2,000 note recall in poll year raises eyebrows


Video grab of an IT raid

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, May 20: A video of an income tax raid in Tamil Nadu is being widely shared in the officials’ group in the national capital to set the backdrop of the decision of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to recall Rs 2000 notes as part of a routine exercise to phase out old paper currencies.

The video in question pertains to an IT raid which found cash stashed in tyres and other secret locations. The IT sleuth called in a tyre mechanic and he punched a small hole, which brought the bundles of Rs 2000 notes tumbling out. The tyre had a total of 110 bundles of 100 notes of Rs 2000. One tyre yielded black money of Rs 2.1 crores.

“You just do a google search of the recent IT raids against the likes of a retired IAS officer, politicians, Pooja Singhal of Jharkhand and all, and you would find the discoveries of cash trove of Rs 2000 currencies. They clearly gave clues to where the Rs 2000 currencies had disappeared as they were hardly being seen in circulation,” said a senior official in the Central government.

The government is countering the claims that the withdrawal of the Rs 2000 currencies is another demonetization, as was done in 2016 of the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. “Little over Rs 3.62 lakh crore of Rs 2000 currencies is in the circulation, but they have either been stored or not being brought out,” said Sharad Kohli, an economist, in an interview to Akashwani.

But the political circle is abuzz of the timing of the decision, as the Bharatiya Janata Party lost the Karnataka Assembly elections, while the saffron outfit is bracing for key state polls along with the Lok Sabha elections. It is widely known that the expenses in elections in the country largely take place in cash, and Rs 2000 notes became convenient for hoarding money.

“Unlike the time of demonetization when a large number of people were able to exchange their old currencies with new notes by entering into arrangements with bank officials, it will be tough to repeat the same modus operandi as artificial intelligence will be employed for mapping the source of currencies and details of the depositors,” said a senior official.

Even while a long window has been given to the people to get their currencies exchanged at banks and select offices of the RBI, 10 notes at one time, the move is likely to cause much discomfort for political black money.        

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