The Income Tax (IT) department has seized cash worth about Rs 1 crore and fixed deposits of Rs 65 lakh during the search operation at the offices and residences of famous Punjab singers and film producers.
The IT sleuths have also collected documents pertaining to property and bank accounts into their custody which will be scrutinised to unearth undisclosed income generated by singers and producers, a senior official of IT department said today.
"We have seized Rs 1 crore cash and FDs of Rs 60-65 lakh during search operation carried out at the offices and residences of Punjabi singers and producers in the state yesterday," Income Tax, Director-Investigation
(Ludhiana), H S Sohi told PTI.
The department has also sealed 19 bank lockers of the raided persons.
IT sleuths raided premises of Punjabi singers including Gippy Grewal, Diljit Dosanjh and Miss Pooja which were spread across
Ludhiana, Mohali, Rajpura and Jalandhar. The IT team also raided locations of two Punjabi film producing Companies- Speed Records and Batra Films.
During the investigation, IT officials found that a few of these singers and producers had filed an income of less than Rs 4 lakh in their Income Tax returns. "They (Punjabi singers and film producers) have shown very nominal income in (their) tax returns," Sohi said.
IT department had kept a watch on these persons since past 3-4 months after it was suspected that the way the entertainment industry particularly Punjabi movie and music industry has grown in past few years, the tax profile of these singers and producers did not go up correspondingly.
Singer-cum-actor Gippy Grewal has acted in Punjabi comedy Carry on Jatta while Diljit Dosanjh played lead actor in romantic comedy
Jatt & Juliet. Both of these movies have been highest money grossers in the history of Punjabi films.
Tax officials, however, said the undisclosed income from singers-cum-actors and film producers could be known after the preparation of an appraisal report.
"We will evaluate their actual income from the documents seized and match them with what they have shown in their tax returns. We will also summon them to reply (on the same). It will take almost two months to prepare the appraisal report. Then we will be able to know exact amount of their unaccounted income," Sohi said.
IT officials said if the need arises, they could also reopen their income tax returns of last six years and will also investigate whether there are any hawala transactions carried out by either singers or producers.
"We cannot rule out hawala transactions. We will analyse (this angle also)," Sohi said adding, once it was found then, the Enforcement Directorate would be informed to carry out further investigation.
The Punjabi film industry, which did not fare well in the past few years, has flourished this year delivering a number of blockbusters including
Jatt & Juliet.
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