Criminal investigation wing set up to deal with black money

The announcement to constitute the Directorate of Income Tax (Criminal Investigation) under the Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT) comes on the heels of government instituting a national study to quantify unaccounted wealth within and outside the country.

A day earlier, the Finance Ministry had formed a committee of senior tax officials to examine ways to strengthen laws to curb the generation of black money in the country, its illegal transfer abroad and its recovery.

All these measures have been unveiled days ahead of Yoga Guru Ramdev threatening to go on hunger strike on the issue of black money and corruption.

The DCI, to be set up with immediate effect, would collect information about persons and transactions connected with criminal activities and initiate prosecution proceedings against them.

"The DCI will perform functions in respect to criminal matters having any financial implication punishable as an offence under any direct tax law," the Finance Ministry said.

The DCI will seek and collect information about persons and transactions suspected to be connected with criminal activities "having cross-border, inter-state or international ramifications, that pose a threat to national security and are punishable under the direct tax laws".

The directorate will also investigate the source and use of funds involved in such criminal activities and file prosecution complaint in competent courts.

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