The government is taking the black money bull by the horns.
According to latest data collated by the income tax department, accessed by HT, Rs 155 crore of black money was recovered during April-June 2016 , from Rs 50 crore during the same period last year, marking one of the highest recoveries till date.
Similarly, jewellery seizures, too, doubled during the three months to Rs 35 crore, against Rs 17 crore a year-ago.
Chennai tops the pecking order of black money hubs, with the government recovering over ₹100 crore of illicit cash, followed by Kolkata (Rs 13 crore) and Delhi (Rs 10 crore).
Last year, during the same period, the maximum recovery was made from Mumbai (Rs 17 crore), which is conspicuous by its absence this year. Mumbai was followed by Chennai (Rs 13 crore) and Delhi (Rs 6 crore).
In case of illicit jewellery, Ahmedabad tops the list with a recovery Rs 9 crore followed by Rs 7 crore from Delhi and Rs 5 crore from Kochi. Interestingly, recoveries from these three cities were way below last year — Rs 4 crore from Ahmedabad, Rs 1 crore from Chennai and zero recoveries from Kochi.
Sources said pan-India recoveries are bound to increase in the coming months, especially with the government going all out in chasing suspicious transactions by people.
After real estate, jewellery is the second biggest source of illicit wealth.
Recovery of such cash from an individual or an entity is normally reflective of only one third of the actual black money held, field officers said.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley recently said that “everybody, including the tax department, is aware of the sectors in which unaccounted money is generated. But it would be an unpleasant duty for any state to start the process of big brother watching.”
Last week, the government said the I-T department had identified over 14,00,000 high-value transactions, in which taxpayers had not quoted their permanent account number (PAN). The department decided to send 700,000 letters seeking information from concerned individuals.