The Income Tax department is keeping a close vigil on Jan Dhan accounts for any unusual cash transaction.
According to the information uploaded on the website of ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’ (PMJDY), out of nearly 3,77,11,410 accounts opened in Uttar Pradesh till November 2, about 86,47,162 were zero balance ones. About 2,28,81,362 accounts were opened in rural UP alone.
The government has decided that the source of cash up to Rs 2.5 lakh deposited in bank accounts would not be probed. However, six days after demonetisation, taxmen are waking up to the possibility that unscrupulous elements might park their unaccounted money in Jan Dhan accounts.
Jan Dhan accounts were opened by the Modi government under PMJDY to ensure financial inclusion of the poor.
Besides Jan Dhan accounts, jewellers are also under watch. Most of the jewellers have closed their establishments for security reasons as well as to escape the vigil of taxmen.
Refusing to confirm or deny if jewellers were on I-T department’s radar, an official said instruments that provided an opportunity to park black money would be under scanner.
The decision to demonetise high value currency was announced by the Prime Minister at 8 pm on November 8 which came into effect from midnight.
However, jewellery shops in many parts of the state delayed closure as the many people rushed to convert their black money into gold.
The rush continued for some part of the next day as well amid allegations that some jewellers were helping people by allowing gold purchase on back date.
An I-T raid at a Lucknow-based jewellery shop in Gomti Nagar yielded Rs 2 crore black money.
Secretary of Lucknow Sarrafa Association Pradeep Agarwal, while admitting that he had heard that some shops opened late to facilitate last minute rush, rubbished claims that jewellers allowed gold purchase on back date. “How far can one show purchases in back date? There would be a limit to it,” said Agarwal.
The Modi government has already made PAN mandatory on any gold or jewellery purchase in excess to Rs 2 lakh. Taxmen told HT they had instructions not to harass people unnecessarily.
“In any case, we focus on bigger transactions,” a source said.