Onion prices: Surveys yield over Rs.70 mn in Punjab

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CHANDIGARH - Income tax surveys carried out by the department earlier this month in different parts of Punjab amidst soaring prices of onions and other vegetables have yielded over Rs.7 crore (Rs.70 million) in undeclared incomes, officials said Wednesday.

“The survey was conducted in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Chandigarh to check hoarding of vegetables in the wake of rising onion prices. The wholesale vegetable merchants in the state have surrendered around Rs.7.25 crore,” said B.K. Singh, additional director (investigation wing), income tax department.

“We had conducted simultaneous surveys on leading vegetable traders Jan 6. Our investigation is still on and we are going through the seized documents and record books,” Singh said here.

However, vegetable traders here protested the surveys — which they termed as raids — and said that the income tax department was unnecessarily harassing them.

With onion prices touching Rs.100 a kg in some parts of the country last month, Indian traders had started importing the bulb from Pakistan at Rs.300-350 a quintal.

From Dec 21 to Jan 5, India received around 50 onion-laden trucks everyday from Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah border check-post. Thereafter, the Pakistan government imposed a ban on onion export through land-route.

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