The Income Tax Department has seized cash and valuables totalling Rs 600 crore in search and survey operations post demonetisation of high value currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. Based on intelligence reports, the department carried out searches and surveys in over 1,100 cases during the two-month period ending January 10, 2017 leading to seizure of cash and valuables, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.
During the same period, more than 5,100 notices were issued for verification of suspicious high value cash deposits made in bank accounts, he said, adding that “these actions led to seizure of cash and valuables of more than Rs 610 crore”. He further said that the information collected was shared with other law enforcement agencies including the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI for appropriate action.
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As part of the ‘Operation Clean Money’ launched on January 31, 2017, Jaitley said the I-T department would leverage technology and data analysis for e-verification of cash deposits made during the demonetisation period. About 18 lakh persons have identified for such online verification and more than 12 lakh online responses from 8.38 lakh distinct PANs/persons have been received, he said.
“In cases where explanation of source of cash is found justified, the verifications are to be closed. The verifications are also to be closed if the cash deposit is declared under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY).
“Enforcement actions in non-compliant cases are being taken as part of the on-going drive against tax evasion, which includes searches, surveys, verifications, assessment of income, levy of taxes, penalties and filing of prosecution complaints in criminal courts, wherever applicable,” said Jaitley.
The government scrapped the high value currency notes of Rs 500/1000 with effect from mid-night of November 8 and permitted people to exchange and deposit scrapped notes in banks till December 30, 2016.