UP govt to crack down on phony investment firms, starts training police

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The Uttar Pradesh government is gearing up to crack down upon fraud investment firms, which dupe gullible investors of their hard earned money in the name of lucrative financial and returns schemes.

UP chief secretary Anu Chandra Pandey has directed officials to launch a drive against such phony companies operating in the state.

The state government will also undertake an extensive investor awareness campaign through various mass mediums to protect the public at large against fraudulent financial schemes and unauthorised deposit of money by such sham companies.

Chairing the 7th State Level Coordination Committee (SLCC) meeting of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) here yesterday, Pandey also issued instructions for the training of police department through special workshops to deal with these crimes.

He underlined action at the district level should also be taken against such fraudulent financial schemes to protect investors.

Meanwhile in the backdrop of the Narendra Modi government’s sustained clamp down upon fictitious firms, the Yogi Adityanath dispensation has also upped the ante against bogus firms. So far, the enforcement wing of UP commercial tax department has managed to identify 317 bogus companies/trading firms across the state.

According to UP additional chief secretary (commercial tax) Alok Sinha, while the registration of 131 bogus firms had already been cancelled, first information reports (FIR) with police had been lodged in 45 cases.

Besides, the commercial tax department had issued more than 2 million online notices over default in filing goods and services tax (GST) return, while 6 million SMS were sent as reminders to traders for filing GST return.

In fact, chief minister Adityanath has issued stern directives to the state tax mandarins for sustained monitoring of commercial activities, so that elements indulging in tax evasion were identified and strict action taken against them.

During the first term (2014-19) of the Modi government, especially following the demonetisation exercise in November 2016, more than 300,000 firms, including shell companies, were deregistered in India. The action was taken, since these entities had failed to furnish any proof of business transactions, payment of taxes or filing of returns.

On November 8, 2016, the Centre, under demonetisation, had scrapped high value currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 as a radical step against black money and weeding out large cash holdings. Later, the introduction of GST in 2017 was another measure in the direction of ‘formalising’ the domestic economy.

In a recent review meeting of the UP tax department, the CM had exhorted officials to ensure that the department achieved its revenue target in the current fiscal. For 2019-20 financial year, the government has fixed commercial tax revenue target of Rs 77,640 crore, of which 14% target or nearly Rs 10,711 crore had been achieved till May 2019.

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