The income tax (IT) department has asked members of Parliament (MPs) to submit copies of the returns filed by them and their dependants for the years 2006-07 and 2007-08. Dependants are those who find mention in the affidavits submitted along with the nomination papers for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
The department says the exercise is for verifying the affidavits. The move was reportedly spurred by reports that some MPs had shown a greater increase in income.
The MPs have also been asked to submit details of the circle/ward where they file their returns. Also, the permanent account numbers (PAN) of their dependants must be provided. According to a report recently released by the NGO, Association for Democratic Reform (ADR), the number of MPs with assets worth over Rs1 crore is two times that in the last Lok Sabha (from 156 in 2004 to 315 in 2009).
Also, the assets of such MPs have trebled from Rs1.86 crore to Rs5.33 crore in the last five years.
The report, prepared on the basis of MPs affidavits, adds that the average worth of assets of 304 MPs has gone up from Rs1.92 crore in 2004 to Rs4.8 crore in 2009.
The IT departments letter to the MPs states: A verification exercise is being carried out by the IT department, ministry of finance, in respect of affidavits filled by you at the time of filing nomination for the general elections 2009. In this regard, your kind co-operation is solicited.