Income Tax Department has raided several wealthy grain merchants in Punjab over the weekend. It may be noted that income from agriculture produce is tax free but the income has to be declared for the purpose of computation. This is where the catch is. Most of these middle man who trade in grains are called adatiya or arhatiya which is a unique profession of financer cum wholesale trader rolled into one.
Protest in Delhi
Today may be 26th day of so called farmers protest in Delhi but from the day one it is known that these protesters are demanding the repeal of laws reforming the agriculture sector at behest of these middle men who operate ‘marketing committee’. Now Chief Minister of Punjab has spilled his beans by slamming Centre over Income Tax raids on ‘arhtiyas’
Captain admits ‘middleman’s protest’
According to an official release, the Chief Minister termed the income tax raids against some “arhtiyas” as an obvious pressure tactic to curb their democratic rights. It said that 14 “arhtiyas” across Punjab received notices from the IT department, including Vijay Kalra (President, Punjab Arthiya Association), Pawan Kumar Goyal (President, Samana Mandi) and Jaswinder Singh Rana (Patiala district President). He said:
“It is evident that having failed to persuade, mislead and divide the farmers into ending their prolonged protest, the central government is now trying to weaken their struggle by targeting the arhtiyas (middleman) who have been actively supporting the agitation since day one.”
He noted that IT raids were conducted at the premises of several big “arhtiyas” of Punjab within a span of just four days of issuing notices without waiting for responses to the notices.
“This is a clear debasement of the due process of law. Even the local police were not informed or taken into confidence, as is the normal procedure, and instead, the CRPF was used to provide security during the raids by the I-T teams…….What is this if not a clear case of vendetta politics by the Centre which is hell-bent on demolishing the farmers’ protest by hook or by crook?”(Source:
Is that an admission by Punjab Chief Minister?
It appears to be a tacit admission to me. What you think?