BEST, state road corp re­move il­le­gal bea­cons atop of­fi­cials’ ve­hi­cles I-T dept cracks down on PAN-less trans­ac­tions

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Prajakta Ku­nal Rane prajakta.cha­van@hin­dus­tan­times.com Kailash Korde kailash.korde@hin­dus­tan­times.com HT Correspondent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

By 2022, thirty lakh com­muters could have the op­tion of get­ting on an air­con­di­tioned (AC) train be­tween Bandra and Vi­rar, at fares that could start as low as Rs19.

A trip be­tween Bandra and And­heri could cost you Rs28, Bandra to Borivli will be Rs42 and Bandra to Vi­rar, Rs68.

The fares were pro­posed in a de­tailed pro­ject re­port that has been sent to the rail­way min­istry for ap­proval. The re­port also de­tails the cost of the pro­ject — es­ti­mated at Rs19,502 crore.

The Bandra-Vi­rar cor­ri­dor is part of the Church­gate-Vi­rar el­e­vated rail pro­ject. “The ob­jec­tive is to re­duce con­ges­tion on ex­ist­ing sub­ur­ban trains. With the Metro III (be­tween Co­laba and Seepz), the traf­fic be­tween Church­gate and Seepz will re­duce. The Bandra-Vi­rar cor­ri­dor can be used by those trav­el­ling to Vi­rar,” said a rail­way of­fi­cial.

The Ma­ha­rash­tra State Road Transport Cor­po­ra­tion (MSRTC) and Bri­han­mum­bai Elec­tric Sup­ply and Transport (BEST) un­der­tak­ing have re­moved the bea­cons atop the ve­hi­cles of of­fi­cials not en­ti­tled to use them.

MSRTC re­moved am­ber bea­cons from the of­fi­cial cars of its vice-chair­man and man­ag­ing direc­tor Ran­jits­ingh Deol and fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor and chief au­di­tor Ek­nath More. BEST’s gen­eral man­ager Jagdish Patil also re­moved the bea­con atop his ve­hi­cle.

Hindustan Times had, through sev­eral re­ports start­ing July 12, pointed out how most of the min­is­ters and bu­reau­crats were flout­ing bea­con rules set up by the gov­ern­ment two years ago.

MSRTC sources said after HT’s re­ports, Deol checked with the rules with the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Depart­ment. He then di­rected the depart­ment con­cerned to re­move the bea­cons from the cars used by him and his col­leagues. “Yes, we have re­moved bea­cons from of­fi­cial ve­hi­cles,” Deol said. BEST’s pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer Hanu­mant Go­phane also con­firmed their gen­eral man­ager has stopped us­ing the am­ber bea­con that he used to keep cov­ered. Patil has been given a new ve­hi­cle. “The new car does not have a bea­con,” he said.

Many state gov­ern­ment bu­reau­crats, how­ever, are still flout­ing the rules. Ac­cord­ing to RTO sources, transport min­is­ter Di­wakar Raote’s per­sonal sec­re­tary Sud­hir Tun­gar, who is not even en­ti­tled to use a gov­ern­ment ve­hi­cle, is still us­ing one with a blue bea­con.

The in­come tax depart­ment on Thurs­day asked all those who have car­ried out high-value trans­ac­tions with­out quot­ing their PAN de­tails to come clean and own up, or face ac­tion.

The tax depart­ment has col­lated 9 mil­lion such trans­ac­tions from 2009 till now where peo­ple have not dis­closed their PAN de­tails. Of these, about 100,000 trans­ac­tions have been found to be worth around Rs1 crore each.

Un­der cur­rent rules, ho­tel bills above Rs50,000, prop­erty deals worth more than `30 lakh, cash de­posits of more than Rs10,00,000 in sav­ings bank ac­count and air tick­ets and tour pack­age bills worth more than Rs50,000 come un­der “high-value” trans­ac­tions that re­quire manda­tory quot­ing of the PAN de­tails.

Per­ma­nent ac­count num­ber (PAN) is a unique 10-digit al­pha-nu­meric code al­lot­ted to tax pay­ers. The tax depart­ment will first is­sue 7 lakh let­ters to peo­ple who have car­ried out about 1.4 mil­lion “non-PAN” trans­ac­tions. The tax depart­ment will first is­sue 7 lakh let­ters to peo­ple who have car­ried out about 1.4 mil­lion “nonPAN” trans­ac­tions.

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