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Modi Government’s ‘Clarification’ on Tax Data Further Muddies the Demonetisation Waters

On 18th August, Ministry of Finance issued a clarificationabout number of tax payers added post-demonetisation, hoping to set at rest the confusion – and skepticism – that had resulted from four different numbers being quoted by the prime minister, the finance minister, the Economic Survey and the Central Board of Direct Taxes.
Of course, these numbers of 56 lakhs, 5.4 lakhs, 91 lakhs and 33 lakhs as the new tax payers are quite confusing and perplexing. Finally the press release confessed that these numbers denote nothing but “different period and different type of taxpayers”. The maze that the Government has laid is literally tread for any factual unbiased analysis and comparison of these numbers. Even then, let me try to decode this puzzle. 



Number quoted in the Prime Minister’s Speech (56 lakhs)
First, let me first dissect the clarification given to the statement made by the Prime Minister. The clarification is as follows:
“The Prime Minister’s speech referred to the increase in nu…

A Fact Check about Income Tax Base and Direct Taxes

On 8th August Morning, most of our newspapers, both national as well as regional ones carried big headlines about the giant leap in the income tax returns received as well as the increase in advance direct tax collections. The media has attributed this huge achievement to the demonetisation executed by the Government, exactly 9 months before on 8thNovember 2016. Finally, it turned out to be that demonetisation started to reap its benefits to the nation. Naturally the apologists of demonetisation, started to cheer again after a long gap and these news are widely shared over the social media.



But the fact-checkerin me became curious with this claim of 24% jump in the number of returns filed. The figure of “2.82 crore returns filed in this assessment year” does not look so huge because I have delved into these data 3 months back for doing an article “Why Duplicate PAN Cards Are Not as Big an Issue as the Modi Government Claims”. Numbers used to stay in my mind, so it came to my memory tha…

Fake Currency and Security Features in the New Currency

Our Prime Minister on 8/11/2016 when he announced the demonetisation of high value denominations, told to the nation that:
“Terrorism is a frightening threat. So many have lost their lives because of it. But have you ever thought about how these terrorists get their money? Enemies from across the border run their operations using fake currency notes. This has been going on for years. Many times, those using fake five hundred and thousand rupee notes have been caught and many such notes have been seized.”
Demonetisation announced by the Government is welcomed by many Indians since they viewed it as a panacea for all the ills like black money, terrorism abetted by the fake currency, etc. There were a lot of Indians believed that there are lakhs of crores of black money and fake currency in the system. In the initial weeks of demonetisation, a narrative sold by the evangelists of demonetisation was that black moeny and fake currency (Fake Indian Currency Note – FICN) are so rife and argued…