As per a recent investigation made by the Income Tax Department of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh -Chaat, Paan, Samosa, and Fruit vendors of the city are found to be millionaires. As per the study, 256 people selling roadside snacks and eatables, have been found to be millionaires. And, interestingly, people who work as rag pickers have been found richer than common men. The most shocking part of the survey done with the help of data software and other technical tools was that these rich people neither pay a hefty tax in the name of Income Tax nor have any relation with GST.
Chaat, Paan sellers, Fruit vendors are Millionaires in this City
According to reports, a scrap dealer in Bekonganj has bought three properties worth more than Rs 10 crore in two years. The owners of two paan shops in Aryanagar, one in Swaroop Nagar, and two in Birhana Road have bought properties worth Rs 5 crore during the COVID period. If you think that those who run their business on rented carts are struggling everyday, you will be surprised to know that a snack seller from Mall Road is paying Rs 1.25 as rent every month on different carts. On the other hand, chaat sellers of Birhana Road, Mall Road, have invested a lot in real estate as an investment to secure their future.
These traders have been working for years without registering their business with the FSSAI
While the data had left the Income Tax Department stunned, this is not for the first time that such revelation has been done. In the year 2019, the Commercial Tax Department of Aligarh had revealed the case of a small snack trader (samosa, jalebi etc) having an annual turnover of Rs 60 lakh. These traders have been working for years without registering their business with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) which oversees food safety of eateries, etc.
As per the study 256 such millionaires have been unearthed
According to the investigation carried out with the aid of data software and other technical tools, 256 such millionaires have been unearthed. It had been found the some fruit vendors actually own hundreds of acres of good cultivable land. Meanwhile, as the middle class struggles financially under the pandemic, scrap dealers have been found to be owning 3 cars. Sneaky ‘Dhannaseths’ like these cleverly disguise themselves in order to draw attention away from their fortunes upon which they are obligated to pay Income Tax and GST.
Such ‘traders’ were found to be owning properties worth over Rs 375 crore in 4 years
Collectively, such ‘traders’ were found to be owning properties worth over Rs 375 crore in 4 years. The properties were located in swanky commercial areas like Aryanagar, Swaroop Nagar, Birhana Road, Hulaganj, Pirod and Gumti. These unscrupulous elements had also accumulated over Rs 30 crore worth of Kisan Vikas Patra- small saving certificates. They also held 650 bighas of agricultural land. Over 65 small grocery store owners and chemists were revealed to have not registered with GST despite earning crores.
Threw PAN number Income Tax Officials track them down
These people went to cooperative banks and availed small finance schemes to conceal their wealth from the government. Another tactic deployed included registering properties in the name of relatives. However, a misstep they made was entering their PAN number in government documents which allowed authorities to track them down. The millionaires were found and identified after a seller gave details from their PAN Card, an identification number assigned to all taxpayers in India. This led to the wider investigation.
Interestingly, similar incidents have happened in the past. Vice News had reported that in 2016, street food sellers in Kanpur were caught with an undeclared income of 600 million Indian rupees. Despite the presence of secret millionaires, many have stressed the difficulties vendor have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.