SRINAGAR: Multimillionaire poll contenders who don’t possess Permanent Account Number (PAN) cards are likely to face scrutiny from the Income Tax (IT) department.
According to a report prepared by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), an independent watchdog for election, 258 out of 618 candidates competing in the first four phases of the five-phased Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir don’t possess PAN cards. And of them, 67 have declared assets in excess of Rs one crore.
Topping the list, as per the report, are National Conference (NC) candidate Khawja Mohammad Yakoob, Abdul Gaffer Sofi of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and independent candidate from Baramulla Muhammad Maqbool Mir.
They are followed by the independent candidates Sanaullah Dar from Pulwama, Javaid Hassan Beig from Baramulla, and PDP’s Muhammad Anwar Bhat, the report
A top official in the IT department here told Kashmir Reader that the candidates will soon be shot notices to explain whether they have paid the taxes.
“We will soon send them notices to explain whether their accumulated wealth was duly offered for taxes,” the official said, wishing anonymity.
“The PAN details help us in quickly assessing the financial antecedents of the candidates. When the details are not shared by a candidate, we have to resort to other conventional means to know if he or she has been paying taxes,” he added.
The department might also scrutinize the candidates who have “undervalued their income,” he said.
“The candidates who have visibly undervalued their income or have shown no income at all will have to explain their sources of election expenditure,” the official added.
Scrutnizing the poll affidavits of the candidates became a norm following a joint charter prepared by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Election Commission of India (ECI) during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

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