November 13, 2016, 11:34 PM IST Mehul Shah in Voices | India | TOI
I am a practising Chartered Accountant, aged 28, in Surat and I was hoping you would support the notification for demonetization of currency and was very eager for your reaction. Since your entry into politics you have supported every small move to reduce black money and corruption and, this was indeed a very big and bold move!
But after going through the video released yesterday, my expectations from AAP as a common man were shattered once again. I believed that a person of such stature and designation as you would spread positivity all around without any ifs and buts to make this mega clean-up drive possible and help the common man in mitigating the problems rather than nagging about the same and hence I would like to bring to your knowledge the following points.
As you have stated in your video that it took 2 whole days for you to understand the various aspects of the scheme and even after consultation with various experts , you could not basically understand the logic of why Rs 2,000 notes were released instead of Rs 1,000. I would like to make an attempt to tender my best possible logic (please enlighten me, if I am wrong somewhere) as follows:
Let us simply take 2 scenarios to understand the logic.
Scenario A: If as per your suggestion, Rs 2,000 note are not issued but only new Rs 1,000 notes are
Let’s say, for instance Mr X has Rs 1 lakh black money in 100 old notes of Rs 1,000 each.
Mr X divides those Rs 1 lakh into 10 equal bundles, each comprising of 10 old notes of Rs 1,000 each and puts each stack on a table.
On Day 1 , in the morning Mr X would deposit the first bundle i.e. 10 old notes of Rs 1,000 valued at Rs 10,000 into the bank and on same Day 1 in the evening he would withdraw 10 new notes of Rs 1,000 again valued at Rs 10,000 and put it in the locker in his house.
Now the real game starts.
On Day 2: Morning , Mr X would deposit the second bundle of 10 old notes of Rs 1,000 valued at Rs 10,000 kept on the table. However, in his books of accounts submitted to Income Tax Department, he will show that he has deposited the same 10 new notes which was withdrawn on Day 1 in the evening ( which is actually still lying in the locker of house ).
On Day 2 : Evening , Mr X would again withdraw 10 new notes of Rs 1,000 valued at Rs. 10,000 and keep the same in locker . So at the end of Day 2, Mr X has Rs 80,000 on table in old notes and Rs 20,000 in new notes in locker.
Now Day 3 will come in next week as limit of Rs 20,000 per week.
The same exercise shall continue till Day 10 and by the end of Day 10, Mr X shall have no old notes and Rs 1 lakh in 100 new Rs 1,000 in the locker.
However, to the Income Tax Department, Mr X has shown that he was having only Rs. 10,000 as black money initially (i.e. one bundle of 10 notes of Rs 1,000 ) and he has rotated the same Rs 10,000 by depositing it into bank account in the morning and withdrawing it in the evening and again redepositing the same on next day and so on.
Thus, Mr X has paid tax only on initial Rs 10,000 whereas he has managed to convert all his black money of Rs 1,00,000 into new notes.
This Modus operandi is called Peak theory i.e. theory of rotation of same money which is accepted by most of the High Courts and Tribunals. Revenue is also helpless to catch Mr X because the above scenario can also occur in genuine cases where you withdraw money from bank to purchase something and then when you think that no good deal is available, you may again deposit the same money into your bank account and are not required to pay tax again.
Scenario B :
Watch what happens when PM issues new Rs 2,000 note instead of Rs 1,000
Mr X deposits first bundle of 10 old notes lying on table in the bank on Day 1 morning and then he withdraws 5 new notes of Rs 2,000 on Day 1 evening and keeps it in locker.
Now on Day 2 morning, when he goes to deposit second bundle of 10 old notes of Rs 1,000 each and wrongly shows the Income Tax Department that he has redeposited the same money which was withdrawn on Day 1 evening – Bingo!
He is caught red handed, because the bank slip on Day 2 submitted to bank shows deposition of 10 notes of Rs 1,000 each whereas the govt knows that Mr X could never have withdrawn on Day 1 any note of Rs 1,000 because they were never printed!
Now isn’t it really a master stroke by Mr Narendra Modi, the beloved Prime Minister of our country?
Sir, you have stated in the video that if someone gives you the logic of issuing new notes of Rs 2,000 instead of Rs 1000, you will salute the PM and support him in his endeavour. I hope this explanation finds you in good health and I am waiting for the support in full sense.
Even if the above explanation is not completely true, we should rely on and respect the PM of our country who is elected through clear democratic majority.
Further, the fact that when someone is holding the new Rs 2,000 note , he is psychologically getting a sense of freshness that the country is in the growth phase. Messages are being circulated not to write anything on new notes. Imagine if the government would have never issued new higher denominations notes with inflation and growth we would still be dealing with Annas and Pavlis!
Sir, the above example also gives you an explanation as to why the withdrawal limit is kept so low because the above modus operandi can still be done with Rs 500 note, however, the incentive would be less because Mr X cannot withdraw more than Rs 10,000 in a day and even if he withdraws Rs 10,000, there is every possibility that banks shall give Mr X Rs 2,000 note. So Mr X cannot follow the above modus operandi.
And believe me sir, each and every condition in the notification is seen to take care of the problems likely to be faced by citizens and at the same time making sure that such sophisticated theories are not resorted to by black money hoarders, but questioning everything in the name of freedom of expression may create panic situations or bring out loopholes and hamper the success of reforms.
Sir, you have again criticised and stated in the video that printing Rs 2,000 note will help to increase corruption because stacking those Rs 2,000 notes would require lesser space as compared to stacking Rs 1,000 notes.
In this regard, I would like to ask that, have you come across any case where the “babus” have not taken any bribe and done work honestly because they had a small bag which could not be fitted with Rs 1,000 notes?
Or have you come across any businessman who has declared unaccounted money solely because there was no space to keep those Rs 1,000 notes?
As stated in the video by you, it is true that in spite of PM efforts, there shall be dubious commission agents and unaccounted investment in gold through jewellers, but as far as I remember when the jewellers were on strike for 45 days when our PM levied excise duty on gold in month of April 2016, it was you who supported their strike. It shows that whenever some changes are suggested to regulate a particular market, AAP opposes them and then you nag about gold market being unregulated.
Infact I believe that the PM had a full blueprint for the development of our country right from Day 1 of his being elected if I recall my last three years as a professional.
Firstly, they asked for all the bank account number in your Return of Income
Then they linked your PAN with Aadhar
They linked all the subsidies, pension and other benefits directly to your bank account through Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme.
Then, they gave opportunity to everyone to open an account with bank through Jan Dhan Yojna.
They entered into revised treaty with most of the countries in which unaccounted money goes through HAWALA, for example, Mauritius and thus the route of black money coming from Mauritius which everyone knew is stopped.
They passed few strict laws to overcome the evil of black money such as Benami Transaction Act and Foreign Black Money Act
They levied excise duty on gold.
They also made TCS compulsory for Cash transactions above Rs 2 lakhs.
They withdrew lakhs of pending income tax and service tax litigations where common man had won at appeal level and department had gone further.
They also entered into information exchange agreement with such countries.
Then they gave last opportunity to all black money hoarders through Income Declaration Scheme, 2016.
Now they have a Scheme for Dispute Resolution Panel again to reduce Litigation till December 2016.
Now the masterstroke, that they have banned Rs 500 & Rs 1000 denominations.
Not only the destination of this whole process is commendable but even the journey or the chronology of these events is interesting which explains the ultimate destination and who knows , maybe the journey is still not over and the ultimate destination may still be the Swiss account holders!
Further, you have stated in your video that penalty would be levied at the rate of 200%. The said statement has created a panic and people have stated discounting their own hard earned cash.
Being in Income tax Department in the past , you ought to know that as per the present Income Tax Act,1961 penalty is never levied on cash deposits but on “concealed income”. Hence, when the common man is depositing cash in hand which is duly accounted or out of his past savings and even out of unaccounted current year’s income whose return is yet to be filed, there shall not be any penalty if there is no mismatch between returned income and assessed income. Even the government officials in their statement used the words “underreporting” or “mismatch”. To understand the definition of “underreporting”, please refer Section 270A of the Income Tax Act or go through the following article:
No penalty on high denominations notes deposited into bank if such amount is declared in return of income by paying appropriate tax
Instead you could have encouraged the citizens to pay appropriate tax.
Nowhere in the video have you stated anything relating to fake currency or counterfeit notes because you know that the issue of existing fake currency is solved foolproof.
Which situation would be better ?
A labourer standing in queue to exchange notes from bank just for a few days.
Scenario B :
A labourer working hard whole day to get a fake note at the end of the day?
The issue of terrorist funding is also tackled but you chose to remain silent on the same.
You have stated that Modi should have infused Rs 100 note from before and it would have been you only to have said in this video that: “Arey, ATM se do din pehle se hi sirf Rs 100 ki note bahar aa rahi thi toh sab ko pata tha , yek koi secret nahi tha”
Now, if I am to believe that you really don’t understand these simple concepts even after consulting with experts for 2 days as already described by you, I am deeply saddened because the common man believe that you are an IIT-ian and have spent considerable time in Income Tax Department as well.
Contrary to the same, if I am to believe that you already know the benefits of demonetization which I first learnt in standard 8th when subject of Economics was introduced to me and the concept of ‘Peak Theory’ which is described by me earlier and which I learnt with my very limited experience while pursuing my profession of Chartered Accountancy, then I am more saddened and feel AAP as more dangerous because I believe that above any religion, politics or reservations in any caste or creed, it will always be education which shall uplift the common man and it is the common man who has elevated you to a position where you are looked by millions as their idol and it is your duty to educate them and spread knowledge and not keep them in ignorance to preserve your vote bank.
I am grateful to all my teachers who have selflessly shared their knowledge and some fellow members of CA fraternity who are playing an active role in creating awareness and educating commoners about the positive consequences of demonetization true to the jewel crowned to the profession as “Partner in Nation Building” and I would, therefore, like to advise the citizens not to sell the notes at discounted prices or deposit the cash into bank accounts of other benami persons in fear of penalty. Further, do not claim any bogus expenses or bogus loss to gain more trouble. Do not manipulate accounts by creating bogus cash on hand. Be sporty and pay your taxes honestly.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.