With Income Tax (I-T) officials refusing to participate in search operations and surveys as part of their ongoing agitation, investigation into secret bank accounts held by Indians abroad has taken a hit.
I-T officials said that surveys on many people, whose names figured in the list of those having secret accounts in Switzerland, are pending. In July, France shared a list of around 700 Indians suspected to have secret accounts in Swiss banks. Of these, around 200 are from Mumbai. "Notices have been issued to around 100 of these Mumbai-based people to explain the money in the foreign banks. Surveys need to be conducted on those who have not replied to these notices," a senior I-T official, said requesting anonymity. The official added that surveys also needed to be conducted on some who are not issued notices, but the department was waiting for some more information before sending notices. I-T authorities are in the process of verifying if the money in these accounts are declared or not.
Officials are now waiting for the protest to end, so that surveys could begin. However, I-T officials said this could take some time as Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex body of the department, was yet to find a way to end the protest. I-T officials across the country have been agitating since December 5 against promotions, which they claim have been pending for two years.