The Karnataka Income Tax department has been cracking down on black money hoarders over the past few weeks, and has unearthed crores worth of unaccounted money in the state. The Income Tax department has now reportedly issued notice to Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), after many officials allegedly converted their black money into white through the bill kiosks.
S Laitha reports for The New Indian Express that many officials allegedly converted their black money into white at nearly 100 kiosks located across the city, that continued to accept the demonetized currency post November 8. The board had earlier announced that people can pay their bills in demonetized currency till December 15.
The report states that of the nearly Rs 95 crore revenue of BWSSB, a major portion of it- Rs 80 crore - comes from bill collections from the kiosks, in the form of cash deposits.
However, the misappropriation is believed to have begun, when many people began to pay their bills in new Rs 2000 notes, thereby creating a window for the officials to exchange their old currencies with the new ones collected at the kiosks.
An unnamed source told The New Indian Express,
“Officials who wanted to change their old currency would wait near the payment area. When they see customers lining up with new currency notes, they would inform them that they could supply them with old notes to pay the water bill. Four old Rs 500 notes can easily be exchanged for a Rs 2,000.”
This is however, not the only way in which the “exchange” is reported to have taken place.
The officials could exchange their devalued notes with lower denomination notes collected at the kiosks, after the day’s collection is made.
“There is no misappropriation of money. Just a neat conversion of illegal currency into legal currency,” the official was quoted as saying, who also said that Rs 40 crore must have been converted in the past month.