On November 8, the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 banknotes were to be demonetised, it rained gold in four Madhya Pradesh cities.
An ongoing verification and inspection survey of stock and sales records by income tax department sleuths at 16 premier jewellers spread across Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and Ratlam has revealed that the jewellers did business worth around Rs 100 crore on November 8 and 9. According to a senior department official in Bhopal, a majority of the business was possibly done within hours of the demonetisation being announced.
The Rs 100 crores sale reported on the day of the demonetisation was several times higher than that reported on the previous or following days. In terms of quantity, around three quintals gold could have been sold in just 24 hours on November 8-9, with prices peaking at Rs 50,000-55,000 per 10 grams.
The survey is being carried out at the premises of seven jewellers in Bhopal, four jewellers in Indore, three in Jabalpur and two in Ratlam.
One of these jewellers, operating in Bhopal, sold gold and precious jewellery worth Rs 5-10 crore in just one day, which was higher than its sales throughout the year, the IT department official said.
To ensure that those who made the purchases escaped the taxman’s eyes, several jewellers split the individual customer sales into sales lower than Rs 2 lakh, as every individual gold/jewellery sale of over Rs 2 lakh requires a PAN card.
Surprisingly, the CCTV cameras installed at most of the jewellery showrooms under survey were not working on November 8 and 9.
“We’re tracking all those who possibly converted the defunct currency into gold with the help of jewellers. Once tracked, the gold would be traced from those individuals, followed by suitable action against them and the jewellers,” a senior IT department official in Bhopal said.