New Delhi :
Agricultural income is non-taxable in India, the plight of Indian farmer is world known, but what if we tell you that 'farmers' here earned 25 times the country's GDP in 2011-12,
It is hard to believe but is true and News Nation brings to you the factual picture of the scam in play.
In an explosive revelation, the channel got hold of an RTI reply which throws light on the dark world of corruption and fraud in agriculture sector.
Farming is a bright concept in India usually deriving lesser returns due to poor infrastructure and seasonal issues but in 2011-12 nearly 6.50 lakh farmers earned Rs 2 thousand lakh crore (approx) which was much more than the annual GDP of the entire country.
According to reports, an internal letter dated March 10 of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has asked its officials to verify the genuineness of agricultural income claims exceeding Rs 1 crore made by taxpayers in their income-tax (I-T) returns.
The move was taken after it was noted in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in Patna HC that over the years several taxpayers have declared significant agricultural income; especially when agricultural income is exempt from tax.
The CBDT also noted that the agricultural income is often used as a conduit for money laundering.
In 2010-11, India’s total GDP was Rs 78,77,947 crore which included agricultural income of Rs 1,319 crore but the farmers during the same year made an annual return of Rs 2 thousand lakh crore (approx) which is next to impossible.
In 2012-13, similar data showed the agriculture income to surpass GDP that too by 7.5 times which is questionable.
This clearly shows that the agricultural income has been misused for money laundering purposes.
News Nation fails to understand how such figures can be generated and therefore hope to bring the notice to the Indian government.
Experts reveal that taxpayers bluff government by showing proof of ancestral property in villages. They also obtain fictitious receipts from traders of agricultural commodities and show it as evidence to avoid tax.
Meanwhile, tax officials have to send a status report of cases within their jurisdiction by March 20, to enable the CBDT to provide the relevant details to the Patna HC.
The complete disclosure was made after an RTI reply.