The tax department will take a close look at the expense accounts of real estate giants Emaar MGF, Parsvnath, Unitech, DLF and others in the wake of the bribes-for-loan racket unearthed recently. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) will also probe into smaller realty firms to find out if they are also beneficiaries of the racket. The CBI is probing 21 sizeable companies for links to a bribes-for-loans scandal that has hit lending and infrastructure shares.

“We shall probe real estate firms like Emaar MGF, Parsvnath, Unitech, DLF and many more to find out if they have any links with the scam,” a finance ministry source said. Also, brokers involved in the scam may be investigated.

The CBI busted a housing-finance racket on Wednesday and arrested LIC Housing Finance CEO Ramachandran Nair, LIC’s secretary (investment) Naresh K Chopra and six top officials from banks and FIs, on charges of taking bribes to grant corporate loans involving many realty firms as well.

In fact, the real estate sector has been on the taxman’s radar for some time. The I-T department also believes that from the Rs 41,369-crore assets that were seized in its searches this financial year, a sizeable part belonged to realty firms. The tax department suspects the sector of indulging into many fraudulent activities and is now looking at real estate firms in smaller towns for any unaccounted cash.

The department has conducted raids on firms like IREO, Paras group, Amrapali group, HDIL, Modi group, and many others over the last one year. All these firms will also be probed for any involvement in the scam.

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