The Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) has been asked by the finance ministry to identify the areas wherefrom the most amount of taxes are evaded.
In a recent note sent by the ministry that was appreciative of the CEIB's role in the second half of 2011, the Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee also asked the bureau to select at least two case studies from these evasion-prone areas.
"We are in the process of kick-starting a competent effort to identify the evasion-prone areas," said an official who did not want to be named.
Significantly, in March 2011, the government had constituted a high-powered committee comprising tax experts and economists to review the role, functioning and structure of CEIB. In its 140-page report, the committee had suggested that the CEIB be made the nodal agency for sharing information on illegal wealth with departments like ED, IT and DRI besides others outside the finance ministry's purview like Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). It had also suggested an effort to bolster the CEIB database.
CEIB is the only government organization that has monitoring jurisdiction over all state and central taxes. It was set up with the aim to coordinate and strengthen the intelligence gathering activities as well as investigative efforts of all the agencies which enforce economic laws.
The government is already working up a plan to track and tackle black-money. Accordingly a five-pronged policy is being adopted which includes creation of an appropriate legislative framework, setting up new institutions and developing new systems.
A study has also been approved by the government in March last year to estimate the quantum of black money both inside and outside the country and for which the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM) and the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) are already undertaking separate studies.