In a bid to tackle the menace of tax evasion and leakage of state revenue in an efficient manner, the West Bengal government has created its own new Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and Enforcement (DRI&E), an official said on Saturday.
"A new Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and Enforcement under the Finance Department has been created for a comprehensive approach to investigation and enforcement of tax laws for tackling the menace of tax evasion and leakage of state revenue in a more efficient and effective manner," the official said.
The state government has been considering restructuring the indirect tax administration to counter revenue leakage and tax evasion through intensive and broad-based investigation and enforcement with multifaceted approach.
The agency will be headed by a Director from the IAS cadre, as may be appointed by the state government.
The investigation teams and field officers in the agency to deal with tax evasion cases would be manned mainly by the West Bengal Revenue Service officers and other officials from other revenue directorates.
The agency will have jurisdiction throughout the state to make enquiries and undertake investigations about cases of tax evasion and enforcement relating to various acts including state GST, Value Added Tax, Sales Tax, Agricultural Income Tax, Stamp Duty Act, Lotteries Act and many others.
It will have several wings and cells, including administrative, investigation, prosecution wings along with law cell and IT and vigilance wing.
Incidentally, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to initiate an independent probe into the IL&FS financial debacle.
In her letter, Banerjee mentioned that IL&FS faced a debt crisis to the tune of alarming Rs 91,000 crore putting at peril the hard-earned savings of lakhs of employees of the PSUs as well as private sector companies by way of uncertainty over provident and pension funds invested in the IL&FS bonds by their employers.
"These grave financial irregularities, which have continued unabated under the Union government, have placed financial security of the people at even graver danger. Demonetisation and hasty and unplanned implementation of GST took away livelihood of common people. Now IL&FS financial debacle is taking away their savings," she said in her letter.
She urged Prime Minister to "kindly initiate a high-level impartial and independent probe into the sordid affairs of financial impropriety and possible misappropriation of the life savings of common people due to the IL&FS fiasco".
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