New Delhi, Oct 26 : Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday told traders to contact him directly on his WhatsApp number in case any Delhi officer conducts a raid and tries to extract money from them.
"It has come to my knowledge that some officers raid the traders' offices and try to extract money in the name of festivals.
If someone does this, send me the information directly," Sisodia said while interacting with Trade Association representatives.
Sisodia shared his WhatsApp number with the traders and told them that written orders have been given to the departments that no officer will visit any trader's office or residence till Diwali.
"We will not let any trader be harassed in the name of a raid.
If any officer comes to you with a raid and tries to extract money, take his/her picture and send it to me.
I will not let him go," he said.
However, he said, this does not mean that tax evasion will be spared.
"We want to collect taxes as well as punish tax thieves. But we have zero tolerance to harassment in the name of surveys. It's an appeal to the traders to write to us online if there are any concerns. Pay your taxes honestly and we will make sure you are not troubled," he said.
Sisodia claimed that he has got information that some officers have gone to traders and said that because elections are coming, "the government needs money and that's why they have come".
"They may say that they are collecting Rs 100 from each as chanda (donation). Just click their pictures and send me," he said.
Sharing some figures with the traders, Sisodia said that till now, 110 surveys have been done by Delhi government in which only one case of tax theft of Rs 72 lakh was found.
"All other cases involved small amounts".
"Considering this, the department has been directed to stop any such visits, especially during the festive season when all traders are focused on profits," he said.