Economic intelligence agencies have informed the finance ministry that a major chunk of illegal funds and black money is being generated and routed in the real estate sector of the country.
Special departments like the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB), Income Tax (Intelligence) and the Directorate General of Excise Intelligence have alerted enforcement agencies like the Enforcement Directorate and I-T (Investigations) to conduct special operations and keep a tight vigil on the funds moving in this sector.
At a meeting of the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) chaired by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee some time back, the CEIB reported that during the year 2011, the maximum percentage of undisclosed income (40%) was detected in the real estate sector, followed by the manufacturing sector (27%).
The concealed incomes were detected by the investigation units of the I-T department and the total undisclosed income in the real estate and construction sector was more than Rs 1,400 crore, while the manufacturing sector reported more than Rs 1,100 crore of stashed funds during the calendar year.
The CEIB is the nodal body for collection and dissemination of economic intelligence data. It coordinates with all the concerned agencies in the area of economic offences like the I-T, ED, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Customs and other agencies like the Narcotics Control Bureau, CBI and the IB.
The data also indicates the modus operandi used by tax evaders in these sectors -- wrong claim of deductions under the I-T Act, unreported cash transactions, multi-layered transactions, routing of funds from foreign shores, including tax haven nations, and under-valuation of profits.
The report, made on the instructions of the finance minister, has also become a part of the recommendations of the CBDT Chairman-led committee on black money which submitted its report to the government in March.
The committee was constituted to examine ways to strengthen laws to curb the generation of black money in the country, its illegal transfer abroad and its recovery.
The classified report also talks about others sectors like mining, health, forex business and education as some of the prominent categories which were detected and reported to have generated or consumed black money or illegal funds.