January 16, 2018

The Narendra Modi government on Tuesday said that it is going to strike-off names of 1.2 lakh more companies from the official records for various non-compliances as part of its continuing fight against the black money menace, PTI reported.

In November, the government was reported to strike off around 2.24 lakh companies, which were inactive for two years or more, most of which are suspected to be shell companies.

Post-demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked the authorities concerned — the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax Department — to wage a war against the black money, beginning with a massive crackdown on shell companies, which give platforms for syphoning off money. So far the Enforcement Directorates have conducted raids in various cities and multiple income tax notices were also sent to individuals or companies, who deposited money in old banned currency under mysterious circumstances.

The Enforcement Directorate conducted nation-wide raids on April 1 in 16 states swooping down at marketplaces, business centres, residential premises and even houses put up on rent to hunt down allegedly dubious and suspicious firms which the agency believed were the “backbone” of black money in the country. The ED teams had visited at least 110 locations in cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Panaji, Kochi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Lucknow, Patna, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Srinagar and Indore besides some in Haryana.

The government even said that more than 1.06 lakh directors would be disqualified for their association with shell companies and the role of auditors have come under the scanner for alleged connivance in facilitating illegal transactions.

The government in September had directed freezing bank accounts of more than 2.09 lakh companies whose names have been struck off from the records and said action would be taken against more such firms. The Income Tax department even was planning to issue notices to about one lakh entities and individuals, who deposited huge cash in banks post demonetisation and whose tax returns have been picked for a detailed probe into suspected discrepancies.

[The Financial Express]