Income Tax department seized Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion) in black money, including cash and jewellery, during April-October, 2011-12, Parliament was informed on Tuesday. The I-T department has issued 2,190 warrants and seized assets worth Rs 299.63 crore (Rs 2.996 billion), Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in the Rajya Sabha.

Of the total amount seized, Rs 179.59 crore (Rs 1.795 billion) was in cash, Rs 95.67 crore (Rs 956.7 million) was jewellery and Rs 24.36 crore (Rs 243.6 million) was in the form of other assets, he said.

During the 2010-11 fiscal, the I-T department has seized assets worth Rs 774.98 crore (Rs 7.749 billion) by executing 4,852 warrants, Mukherjee said.

In a separate reply to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Finance S S Palanimanickam said the I-T Department does not doubt the authenticity of information provided by the French government on Indians with bank accounts in Switzerland, but was verifying the data.

“The question of any doubt on the authenticity of the list of bank account holders does not arise as it was received from the government of France. However, information so received is verified in accordance with provisions of the Income Tax Act and necessary action taken to bring to tax any undisclosed income…,” Palanimanickam said.

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The minister of state said this in response to a question related to the information received from the French government on the Swiss bank accounts of Indians.

India received information on these accounts from the French government under the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention between the two countries.

He further said, “While handing over the information, the French government has not indicated its source.”

With regard to the quantum of black money, Palanimanickam said the government has commissioned a study to ascertain the amount of unaccounted wealth both within and outside the country and its ramifications on national security.

The study is being conducted separately by three institutes — the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, National Institute of Financial Management and National Council of Applied Economic Research.

He further said the I-T department has seized undisclosed assets worth Rs 2,038 crore (Rs billion) 20.38 since April, 2009, and detected unaccounted income of over Rs 30,000 crore (Rs 300 billion) domestically.

The department, he added, has detected mis-pricing of goods and services worth Rs 66,085 crore (Rs 660.85 billion) since April, 2009, including Rs 42,838 crore (Rs 428.38 billion) in the current financial year.

It has collected Rs 33,784 crore (Rs 337.84 billion) in tax on cross-border transactions in the last two financial years, he added.

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