The large sums of undisclosed wealth uncovered by the Income Tax Department in the days since PM Modi’s demonetisation announcement have grabbed a lot of eyeballs. According to officials in the Income Tax department, however, even prior to demonetisation the department’s raids had uncovered much higher sums of undisclosed wealth since April 2016, as compared to the previous fiscal.
Addressing reporters at a news conference, I-T officials said that, from 1 April to 27 December 2016, Rs 116.46 crore cash and bullion was seized in raids. Against this, only Rs 27.55 crore was seized during the previous fiscal, they said.
In the declarations provided by parties under investigation after the raids, the total undisclosed income from all assets amounted to Rs 3,265 crore in the same period this year. In the previous fiscal, this amounted to Rs 876.86 crore.
Further, officials said that they discovered more assets and income that had been concealed by these parties even in the declarations given after the raids, amounting to Rs 392.96 crore. This amount was only Rs 140.07 crore in the previous fiscal.
Certain co-operative banks have become havens for huge deposits this year. I-T sleuths discovered over 59,373 entries involving potentially undisclosed income, amounting to Rs 7,636 crore.
"These are the entries that have deposits of over Rs 10 lakh made. Inspections were conducted in 14 co-operative banks this year," an I-T official said.
Among these entries nearly 2,300 entities, who are under investigation by the Department, had made deposits of over Rs 50 lakh.
Surprisingly, only two banks were inspected after demonetisation. In these two banks, I-T sleuths identified Rs 1,600 crore of wealth from 2,000 entries having deposits of over Rs 10 lakh.
"Top depositors of old currency notes in banks, huge payments including arrears to the electricity department, huge payments for insurance policies or even at the post office are identified and these persons are requested to furnish details of the income. There are 285 co-operative banks in Karnataka and 80 of them have withheld information," I-T officials said.
Moreover, after demonetisation, 1,300 entities have been issued notices for non-PAN entries exceeding Rs 1 crore each, in any bank in Karnataka, including co-operative banks, I-T officials added.