Jan 01, 2020
Ghost of demonetisation haunts traders of Zaveri Bazaar
The ghost of demonetisation returned to haunt Zaveri Bazaar, India’s gold and jewellery hub, on New Year’s Eve. In the past few days, the Income tax department has spurned claims of bullion traders that there were huge jewellery sales on the night of November 8, 2016, when the Modi government banned currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations. Dealers in the congested Zaveri Bazaar remember the night when panic-struck cash hoarders and the well-heeled with unexplained money dumped currency bills to buy gold till early morning — temporarily driving up the price of the yellow metal. The latest tax office orders — which kept pouring in even on Monday and Tuesday — were slapped just before the December 31 deadline, after which assessments for the financial year FY17 become time-barred. “The department has invoked Section 159BBE of the I-T Act in rejecting the claims of jewellers and gold dealers’ claim of cash deposit (in banks) represented by cash sales post demonetisation. It has levied tax of 60% even if such sales were out of their stock of gold and happened at the prevailing price.