Unaccounted cash seizures hurting biz in Punjab

Confiscation of huge sums of "unaccounted" cash by surveillance teams to curb the "misuse of money power" in the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections has evoked a sharp reaction from industry.

Last Updated: Dec 28, 2011, 14:27 PM IST

Chandigarh: Confiscation of huge sums of
"unaccounted" cash by surveillance teams to curb the "misuse
of money power" in the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections has
evoked a sharp reaction from industry, who complained it has
hurt business transactions and is "sheer harassment".

On the directions of the Election Commission of India,
state Static Surveillance teams have seized over Rs 3.5 crore
in unaccounted money during the past three days from various
places, including Mohali, Patiala and Jalandhar.

As per the Election Commission`s guidelines, any person
carrying over Rs 1 lakh in cash would have to support the same
with evidences during checking, otherwise it would be
confiscated.

Elections to 117 Assembly seats in Punjab will be held on
January 30.

The Income Tax Department, which is entrusted with the
job of monitoring the use of undisclosed money in elections,
has categorically stated that unaccounted money will be seized
if it is not explained with documentary proof by the cash
holder and action will be taken under Income Tax laws.

An intensive exercise by surveillance teams comprising
police officials to recover unaccounted cash since the Code of
Conduct has come into force in Punjab has spread panic among
various industry verticals, including real estate, iron and
steel and auto parts, where heavy cash transactions take
place.

"The seizure of unaccounted money is turning out to be a
sheer harassment for industrialists who are into the steel and
iron sector as businessmen are becoming wary of taking cash
along with them to carry out routine transactions, fearing
that money will be confiscated," All-India Steel Re-rollers
Association President Vinod Vashisht said.

PTI

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