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Black money seizure jumps three-fold this year

By PTI
30 August, 2016

The Income Tax department has seized an all-time high value of cash and jewellery, while Rs 3,360 crore unpaid taxes have been surrendered this year as part of its enhanced crackdown against black money holders in the country.

In a mammoth jump of over three times in the searches, raids and seizure action in the first seven months of this year as compared to the corresponding period of 2015, the department seized over Rs 330 crore of alleged tainted cash, jewellery and other movable and immovable assets.

Last year, this figure stood at Rs 102.50 crore.

An official report prepared in this regard states that I-T raids and searches this year have beaten all records of the last about five years in terms of number of such actions conducted, seizures made and subsequently the untaxed income brought to the government coffers.

The figures compiled in the report, which has been accessed by PTI, state that the I-T Department carried out only 55 searches between January-July 2015, while these numbers rose to 148 in the corresponding period this year, cash seized during these operations jumped thrice to over Rs 254 crore as compared to Rs 76.72 crore last year, and the value of jewellery and precious metals seized this year stands at Rs 84.59 crore as compared to Rs 21.59 crore in 2105.

“The total value of the seizures, after I-T raids were conducted between January-July this year, stands at Rs 329.93 crore as compared to Rs 102.50 crore during the same period last year. The latest figures are progressive and would go over Rs 330 crore (for Jan-July, 2016). This is a three times increase,” the report said.

It said the investigation directorate of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the policy-making body of the I-T Department, has issued strict directives to step up these actions to unearth instances of domestic black money and go into “all the usual and unusual sectors” that generate untaxed wealth.

The department, across all the 16 regional investigation wings in the country, also got admitted or got surrendered over Rs 3,360 crore of money after searches were conducted, which was identified as unaccounted wealth, as compared to Rs 2,146.38 crore of such funds last year during the same period.

The report mentions that sleuths of the investigation wing, at some location in the country, are conducting such action every week based on “actionable intelligence developed by both human and technical means.” 

The maximum of the I-T searches this year have taken place in the southern states of the country, it said, adding that education, construction, pharmaceuticals and medical and infrastructure sectors have emerged as the most “notorious businesses” where the alleged black money instances were unearthed.

Officials privy to these operations said CBDT has recently asked the supervisory authorities of the investigation units to ensure that there is “no let up” in these actions and the remaining five months of the year or the the eight months of the financial year should be as “result-oriented” as the earlier ones.

“However, the instructions are clear that any such action will only be initiated after gathering solid information, intelligence and data against the entity. There will be no fishing or roving action and merit of a case is supreme,” they said.

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Black money seizure jumps three-fold this year

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