Millennium Post

CAG pulls up CBDT, I-T for irregularities

What is shocking is that their audit has revealed there were substantial delays in launching of prosecution cases ranging from five to 48 years. ‘I never heard of any prosecution cases being launched even after 48 years. This is something which is astonishing and needs to be taken seriously,’ a senior CAG official said.

The CAG, in their recent report, has found a series of lapses of CBDT and ITD and raised serious questions on the future of several cases which are pending. ‘The poor functioning is simply because of complacent officials in the departments,’ he said. The CAG report reads, ‘In respect of prosecution against corporate sector, we have found that cases were being launched and pursued even where companies had already been liquidated or have been declared sick by Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction (BIFR).’

It further reads, ‘The CBDT is pursuing cases under repealed sections of the Act, dead assessees etc resulting in wastage of resources. C&AG has found that even after 11 years of the Supreme Court judgment and 5 years of opinion from the Ministry of Law, 76 cases were still being pursued frittering away valuable time and resources of ITD.’

The report went on to say: ‘There were substantial delays in launching of prosecution cases ranging from 5 to 48 years.’

On the context of  ‘administration and levy of penalty’, the CAG has found that ITD delayed completion of penalty proceedings in 27 cases, which led to potential loss of revenue worth Rs 4.38 crore.

‘ITD did not apply penalty as per provisions of the Act in cases such as non-complying with filing requirements covering Income Tax Returns, Tax Audit Reports, Books of Accounts, concealment of income (tax effect of Rs 73.20 crore) and failure to provide return for Tax Deduction at Source TDS and Tax Collected at Source (TCS) (penalty of Rs 5.13 crore) and also it did not apply penalty provisions for cash transaction which led to tax effect of Rs 56.60 crore,’ the  CAG report reads while claiming that there are wide discrepancies in data on pending and disposed cases and questioned the authenticity and reliability of prosecution data.

On the context of record maintenance, the report reads: ‘Poor record maintenance and delays in production of evidence has led to acquittal of assessees.

The cases purported to have been pending at the jurisdictional High Court as evidenced from ITD’s records, has already reached finality and the courts has disposed of the cases.

‘We have given a suggestion that Central Economic Intelligence Bureau which is meant for gathering, collation and dissemination of information among tax gathering agencies like CBDT, CBEC etc. has not worked in coordinated manner to arrest tax evasion,’ a CAG official said.
Sujit Nath

Sujit Nath

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