The Income Tax department is set to start sharing personal data such as PAN, residential address and mobile number of taxpayers earning over Rs 10 lakh per annum with the Oil Ministry as a part of government’s initiative in order to block subsidised cooking gas to higher income groups.
As part of the official deal between the two government departments, the taxman will also share the date of birth, gender, email id, residential phone number and all available addresses of the taxpayer in its database so that the Petroleum and Oil Ministry could zero down on each LPG subscriber who is availing the subsidy beyond the stipulated rules and has not voluntarily given it up.
The I-T department will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Oil Ministry in order to begin this transfer of personal taxpayer data, in a “confidential and safe” manner.The department, till now, used to share such proprietary data with Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) like police, CBI, ED and others with a rider that they should not share this information with anyone else and use it for their investigation purposes only.
The latest move has also been approved by the policy-making body of the department, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), in the backdrop of government’s decision which had said that tax payers with annual income of more than Rs 10 lakh will not get subsidised cooking gas (LPG).
“This tax data with the Oil Ministry will ensure that all those who have income above Rs 10 lakh per year will automatically be barred from getting subsidised cooking gas cylinders. The data will be processed by the Oil Ministry and only names of those ineligible will be shared with the concerned LPG distributor on field.“
While some individuals and households have already given up this subsidy voluntarily after government asked them to do so, there are many who have not done so. The government wants to check pilferage in this regard and hence the data is being shared between the two departments,” a senior official said.
The official said the transfer of data will begin soon.At present, all households are entitled to 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg each at subsidised rates.The government has asked well-off people in the past to voluntarily give up using subsidised LPG and instead buy cooking fuel at market price.
The government, while announcing this decision in 2015, had said it “has decided that the benefit of LPG subsidy will not be available for LPG consumers if the consumer or his/her spouse had taxable income of more than Rs 10 lakh during the previous financial year computed as per the Income Tax Act, 1961.”