IT Dept overseeing note ban: ‘It’s like making Dracula in charge of blood bank’

New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Asking the Income Tax Department to ensure the success of the demonetisation move by the government is like making “Dracula in charge of a blood bank.”

This was stated by Pinaki Misra, a member of parliament from the Biju Lok Dal of Orissa, and a veteran lawyer on the Karan Thapar show on Friday. He said in his legal career he had interacted with the Income Tax Department and he had found that it was the “most corrupt department” in the whole government.

The show, on India Today TV, discussed the impact of demonetisation after the 50 days deadline set by the government. The government had demonetised the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on November 8.

On the same programme, P.N. Vijay, a spokesperson for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, said that the figure of Rs 14.97 lakh crore put out by Bloomberg news agency on Wednesday as demonetised currency “was correct”. He said his party was “always expecting” all the money to come back and was very happy that it had happened.

Thapar contradicted him saying that the government was in fact saying there would be a shortfall of Rs 3 lakh crore black money from demonetisation, which it would get back as “windfall” dividend from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

On Thursday, in an indirect reference to the Bloomberg figure, the RBI had said estimates being made on the quantum of demonetised money being returned to the banking system may not be correct.

“Now that the scheme has come to an end on December 30, 2016, these figures would need to be reconciled with the physical cash balances to eliminate accounting errors/possible double counts, etc. Till this is completed, any estimate may not indicate the actual numbers of the SBNs (Specified Bank Notes) that have been returned,” the RBI had said in its press note.

Vijay said there has been widespread support for the government’s action on black money and the Bharatiya Janata Party would make this as its one-point election plank in the next few polls, as had also been stated by party president Amit Shah.

“If you think demonetisation has been bad, let the opposition parties also fight the election on this point, and see what the people have to say,” Vijay, who has been a financial consultant for decades, said.