For all the focus of the Narendra Modi government on the black money issue, the Special Investigation Team it appointed a year ago on Supreme Court directions has said in its latest report that government departments “were not prepared to share information.”
The report indicates that even after its instructions for addressing this, there may not have been satisfactory progress.
The SIT on Black Money, in its third report submitted to the apex court on Tuesday, said: “... previously, various departments were not prepared to share the information received for tax evasion or for any other illegal activities.”
Even the information that is currently available from overseas, for instance in the HSBC accounts cases, is not being shared at the moment which is constraining investigations.
A source close to the SIT told The Hindu that the Central Board of Direct Taxes is yet to share all details of the 628 HSBC Geneva bank accounts with other enforcement agencies.
Though the SIT has not named any of the agencies working to unearth black money, The Hindu has learnt that the SIT had asked, before it prepared this report, the Board and the Financial Intelligence Bureau (FIU) to be more forthcoming in sharing information with other enforcement agencies.Data sharing crucial
As the SIT was of the view that data sharing among various agencies was crucial for making the attack on black money more effective, it sought information from the Board.
The source further said that as there was not much data-sharing among the agencies even after repeated reminders for smooth inter-agency coordination, the SIT recommended a study of the databases of the various departments by the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau.
However, the SIT report submitted on Tuesday says that even after the study, “to some extent, the Bureau had received some information” only.