The country's education sector is showing an increasing appetite for dirty money.
Though the real estate and manufacturing sectors remain the major offenders, authorities unearthed Rs 288 crore of black money with educational institutes in the 2009-10 fiscal, a growth of 550 per cent from Rs 44 crore in FY2008-09, which indicates that the malpractice is on the rise.
"The major source of unaccounted money is the capitation fee used for getting admission to medical, engineering and other professional courses," said a senior Finance Ministry official.
The significant rise in detection of undisclosed money in the sector was despite the fact that the number of educational groups searched for unaccounted money last fiscal was 17, compared to 18 groups in 2008-09.
However, the major offenders remain the manufacturing and real estate sectors, which accounted for 31 per cent and 28 per cent respectively of the total amount of Rs 8,101 crore in undisclosed money traced in 2009-10.
Last fiscal saw an increase of 76 per cent in total money detected without any official record. In 2008-09, 429 groups were searched, against 408 groups in 2009-10. During the course of the raids, Rs 4,613 crore in undisclosed money was detected.
The Income Tax Department found 72 manufacturers with undisclosed money totalling Rs 2,507 crore in 2009-10, as against 79 groups with Rs 1,026 crore detected a year ago.
Similarly, 80 real estate players were found sitting on Rs 2,250 crore of unaccounted money last fiscal, compared to 123 real estate groups with Rs 1,950 crore of unclean money in 2008-09.
"All fast growing sectors which are not contributing to the coffers of the government in equal measure are under watch," the official said.
Other sectors with a sizable amount of unaccounted money that was detected last fiscal include the jewellery and bullion segment (Rs 255 crore) and the financial sector, comprising the unofficial money market (Rs 104 crore).