To curb instances of black money use during the polls in five states, 204 Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) officials have been deployed as ‘expenditure observers’ by the Election Commission. A total of 204 IRS officers, in the ranks of Additional Commissioners of Income Tax, largely drawn from various investigation wings of the department from across the country will head specially created ‘flying squads’ to check and take action against illegal movement of cash and transactions in the poll-bound states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
The officials have been called to the national capital on January 2 by the EC for a pre-deployment briefing and they will also be allocated their regions.
“The I-T officials will soon be briefed about their mandate and duties during the polls. They will have a 24X7 connect with the EC expenditure control office and the Chief Electoral Officer of the states. These IRS officials will have to report all instances of cash movement in their areas irrespective of the amount being legal or illegal,” a senior I-T official said citing EC directives.
In order to check illegal money power in the polls, the EC has asked candidates to open separate bank accounts for their election expenses and to make all expenses through them.
The Commission recently has also issued fresh directions to the chiefs of Income Tax (Investigation) department in all these states to “keep vigil over” financial brokers and hawala agents including keeping track on illegal movement of cash at airports and through other transit locations.