CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra

New Delhi: Badly hit by the criticism of failure in curbing black money, the Narendra Modi government has unleashed the IT sleuths against Benami transactions.

The tax department has opened 24 units all over the country to go against Benami transactions.

“Our efforts in this direction are being intensified further”, said the Central Board of Direct Taxes chairman Sushil Chandra while claiming that the issue was “very serious”.

The Income Tax department has started scanning the tax profiles of all property registration above Rs30 lakh as part of a major drive against the benami property holders and shell companies. The inquiry is being done under the provisions of the Anti-Benami Act. He also confirmed the department was also probing the shell companies – along with their directors – debarred by the government.

Sources in the I-T department said so far the taxman has attached around 621 properties , including some bank accounts. The total amount involved in these cases that is being probed under the Benami Transactions Act is about Rs 1,800 crore. “We will destroy all instruments that are used to convert black money into white. This also includes shell companies. Also, the department is checking the income tax profiles of all properties which have a registry value of over Rs 30 lakh.

“We get this information under the law. If these profiles are found suspicious or incorrect, action will be taken (under the Benami Act),” Chandra said.