Arun Jaitley in New Delhi on Monday. Picture by Ramakant Kushwaha
New Delhi, July 21 (PTI): Finance minister Arun Jaitley today asked the income tax department to focus its efforts on unearthing “quite large” black money within the country.
“The government is making full efforts to bring back the black money stashed abroad, but the officers of the (income tax) department have to make equally serious efforts to unearth black money within the country,” Jaitley said in a statement.
He asked “all senior officers to focus their efforts to unearth black money within the country which is also quite large”.
The government has set up a special investigation team (SIT) to unearth black money stashed abroad.
The SIT, headed by former Supreme Court judge M.B. Shah, has 11 members in the panel who are heads of many investigative and enforcement agencies of the country.
The finance minister also hoped that revenue targets fixed for direct taxes in the current fiscal would be surpassed.
“To achieve this target, the officers of the income tax department will have to work with the highest standard of ethics... credibility of the department is its biggest asset,” he said.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) today unveiled a “single global standard” for automatic exchange of financial account information by various countries, including India and Switzerland, a move likely to intensify the fight against black money.
The new global standard will facilitate a “systematic and periodic transmission of bulk taxpayer information by the source country of income to the country of residence of the taxpayer concerning various categories of income or asset information”.