Thursday, 12 January 2017

Where Angels Fear to Tread !



Hindustan Times ( 12 Jan 2017 ) carries following report :

The income tax department has started a crackdown on “suspicious” bank lockers after searches and raids revealed that these were being used to stash illegal cash and jewellery.

Tax officials were seeking details of lockers operated multiple times, especially in co-operative banks

 “Benami bank lockers are being monitored to check ownership as these have been used for illegal activities and hoarding illegal cash and wealth,” a government official said.

“However, it must be reiterated that it is aimed at addressing the black money issue and there will be no sealing of bank lockers, as we have already said.”

A benami or ghost, locker is operated by someone other than the person in whose name it is issued. There have been instances when a holder has agreed to keep cash or jewellery for a family member, an acquaintance or even a senior at work.

Most of the “suspicious” lockers, so far, have been reported from smaller towns, though such abuse couldn’t be ruled out in the cities as well, sources said.

Research, real-time information from multiple sources and information collected during raids helped them zero in on such accounts, sources in the department said.

Tax sleuths also don’t rule out the possibility of city residents using lockers in small towns to escape scrutiny. Several banks offer locker services to customers who do not hold accounts with them.

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In the eyes of IT department , what makes a locker , a  SUSPICIOUS  locker ?

Apparently , the following criteria :

*  Location in a co-operative bank branch in a small town
*  Acquired after 08 Nov 2016 ( even without having a savings account )
*  Owned by a person living in a far off city
*  Operated frequently

I am sure , there are millions of lockers which may " satisfy " the above mentioned criteria and it would require , not only a MASSIVE collection of DATA , but also an Artificial Intelligence based software to conclude ( with a HIGH PROBABILITY ) that a given locker can be classified as SUSPICIOUS . Not an easy job !

And , even after all this , that DATA and AI software , cannot tell IT department ANYTHING about accumulation of Rs 2000 ( NEW ) notes in those lockers ( the BLACK MONEY that IT department is after ! )

In case of a KYC bank account , a bank manager can tell the IT department exactly ,

*  Amount of money in that account , at any time
*  What amounts were withdrawn / deposited and when ( and in Rs 2000 notes )


But , in case of a Locker , bank manager has absolutely NO CLUE as to its content !

Should IT department " raid " those  lockers based on nothing more concrete / positive than a mere SUSPICION ?

Would not such indiscriminate raids harass many honest locker-owners and hurt their reputation in the eyes of their community ?

Over the years , we have heard of " IT raids " being carried out on homes / offices of prominent / rich persons , where CASH to the tune of CRORES of rupees have been seized

We also know that nothing has come out of these raids and those matters have been " amicably settled " !

I believe IT department has embarked on something which is not only foolhardy but atrocious , to say the least

Only yesterday, Supreme Court threw out a case against our PM by saying :

" A mere entry in a computer ( CM , Gujarat ) cannot constitute sufficient evidence to launch an inquiry "

Then , how could mere " Suspicion " be enough to raid a locker ?

Could IT / ED  have a " FOOL-PROOF " method to convince the courts , why they chose to raid a particular locker ?

Sure !

All that the Government / RBI has to do is to embed all high denomination notes with a RFID sensor

Since RFID chips would announce their presence through internet , it would be a simple matter for IT / ED to set up a Technology Platform ( IndiaStack ? ), to zero-in, locate any locker  anywhere in India , containing Rs 2000 notes , aggregating ( say ) , Rs 1 CRORE

When those high denomination notes start shouting ( 24*7 ) ,


{  http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2016/08/help-please-rescue-me.html  }

both , the BLACK MONEY and the CORRUPTION , will get eliminated , PERMANENTLY !

However , instead of embedding RFID chip, what is more likely to happen is the removal of Mahatma Gandhi's photo from those notes . You know why !

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13  Jan  2017


www.hemenparekh.in / blogs

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