Government of India has taken several punitive and deterrent steps to unearth black money.  These include scrutiny of returns, surveys, search and seizure action, imposition of penalty and launching of prosecution in appropriate cases. Among other efforts to unearth black money, Tax Information Network (TIN) has been set-up as depository of important tax related information which can be accessed by the Department.  The information collected from various sources is also collated electronically to create a 360 degrees profile of the high net-worth assesses so as to detect tax evasion.  A Computer Aided Investigation Tool (CAIT) has been developed to scrutinise computerized Books of digital evidence seized during search and Survey operations.  Information as regards suspicious transactions and large cash transactions, as disseminated by the Financial Intelligence Unit, India (FIU-IND), is also investigated by the Income Tax Department.  Appropriate action under the provisions of Direct Tax Laws is taken in cases where unaccounted income/ wealth is detected.

The amount of total assets seized by the Income Tax Department during Search and Seizure operations conducted in the last three financial yearis as under:

Financial Year Total Seizure (Rs. In Crore)
2007-08 427.82
2008-09 550.23
2009-10 786.27

There are several underlying causes of generation and circulation of unaccounted money, including various socio-economic factors.  However, generation and circulation of unaccounted money is found to be prevalent in Real Estate, Manufacturing Sector, Mining, Education, Healthcare and various other sectors.

There is no official estimate of the extent of unaccounted income/ wealth in the country as on date.  At the instance of the Government, the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) had in 1985 conducted a study” Aspects of black money in India” in which the amount of black of black money in the country in the year 1983-84 was estimated between Rs. 31,584Crore and Rs. 36,786 Crore.  The authors of the study had, however, admitted that their estimate was based on numerous assumptions and approximations, each of which could be challenged.  Subsequently no fresh study has been conducted by the Government on the amount of black money.

At present, there is no proposal to make any fresh assessment of the extent of unaccounted income/ wealth in the country.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Finance Sh. S.S.Palanimanickam in a written reply to an Unstarred Question raised in Rajya Sabha today.

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