NEW DELHI: The Income Tax department today conducted searches on pulses traders and commodity business centres in several cities in connection with alleged tax evasion.
The searches, sources said, were carried out simultaneously in Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Indore and some cities in Uttar Pradesh.
They said around 20 teams comprising 60 IT officials were carrying out operations in these cities as part of their investigations into alleged tax evasion in the pulses trade and allied activities.
"The IT teams have seized some documents and computer hardware from these locations. The operations were launched early this morning," they said.
In Delhi, tax sleuths searched the business premises of some traders in the old city area, while in Mumbai a commodity exchange was searched, they said, adding some intermediaries operating this trade were also raided.
Officials said the action was mounted based on inputs of alleged hoarding and financial irregularities in the trade in the last few months when the prices of this essential food item soared drastically and after obtaining approvals from the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the operations were launched today.
Government had recently said over 93,500 tonnes of pulses seized from hoarders have been offloaded in the retail markets, in order to help curb prices of lentils further.
Pulses prices have declined from the peak of Rs 200 per kg in October to Rs 180 per kg at present in most retail markets due to various government measures including curbs on hoarding of pulses stocks.
Prices of key pulses, especially tur and urad, have shot up unabated in the last few months due to a fall in domestic output by 2 million tonnes in 2014-15 crop year (July-June) due to deficit monsoon.