New Delhi, April 8, 2017

The government on Friday warned of an intensified crackdown against black money as the revenue department detected tax evasion of more than Rs 1.37 lakh crore and identified over 1,000 shell companies since 2014-15.

Bogus transactions by shell companies amounted to more than Rs 13,300 crore. The tax evasions included Rs 69,434 crore in income tax, Rs 11,405 crore in customs, Rs 13,952 crore in Central Excise and Rs 42,727 crore in Service Tax, the finance ministry said in a statement.

Simultaneously, criminal prosecutions were launched in 2,814 cases (Income Tax, 1966; Customs, 526; Central Excise, 293; Service Tax, 29), and 3,893 people were arrested (Customs, 3,782; Central Excise, 47; Service Tax, 64).

More than 245 benami transactions have already been identified in this period and provisional attachments of properties worth Rs 55 crore have been made in 124 cases, it said.

Income Tax investigations led to detection of more than 1,155 shell companies/ entities used as conduits by over 22,000 beneficiaries. The amount involved in non-genuine transactions of such beneficiaries was more than Rs 13,300 crore. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has issued more than a lakh notices for striking off names of defunct / non-compliant companies, the ministry said in a statement.

“A high-powered group has been set up for coordinating and monitoring the actions taken by departments concerned with the objective of eliminating the conduits of black money generation and application. The relentless crusade against black money will get further intensified in the coming days making the tax evaders and money launderers realise that they have to pay a heavy cost for their deviant behaviour,” the ministry said.

[The Deccan Herald]