A day after the government came under intense attack following the release of Reserve Bank of India data that said Rs 15.28 lakh crore of Rs 15.44 lakh crore returned to the system post demonetisation, the Income Tax Department on Thursday said cash deposits of Rs 2.89 lakh crore made by 9.72 lakh persons are under scrutiny.
"Cash deposits of Rs 2.89 lakh crore post note ban by 9.72 lakh persons in 13.33 lakh accounts under radar," the I-T dept said.
The department added that 14,000 properties of over Rs 1 crore each are also under scrutiny as their owners have not filed income returns.
The I-T department announcement comes a day after the RBI said in its annual report 2016-17 that Rs 15.28 lakh crore of the junked currency had come back into the banking system, leaving only Rs 16,050 crore out. As on November 8, 2016 there were 1,716.5 crore pieces of Rs 500 and 685.8 crore pieces of Rs 1,000 in circulation, totalling Rs 15.44 lakh crore.
As the Opposition trained its guns on the government and questioned the benefits of the massive drive last year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said demonetisation was never an exercise to confiscate money.
“The objective of note ban was to bring down cash in the economy, bring digitization, expand tax base, and fight black money,” the finance minister said. “The note ban was not an exercise to confiscate money."
"A significant portion of SBNs (Specified Bank Notes) deposited could possibly be representing unexplained/black money," the finance ministry said in a statement. The ministry statement said transactions of more than 3 lakh registered companies are under the radar of suspicion while 1 lakh companies were struck off the list.