The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigative Team on black money has asked the Reserve Bank of India to share the data collected by it with enforcement agencies, PTI reported on Monday. The team, headed by retired Justice MB Shah, had in August written a letter to the central bank asking it to help set up an “institutional mechanism” to allow the sharing of data to track illegal monetary flows out of India.
It asked the Revenue Department to identify a single agency that can access the central bank’s databases such as the Foreign Exchange Transactions Electronic Reporting System and the Export Data Processing and Monitoring System and distribute the information held there to the relevant financial enforcement bodies. The SIT further said that it expected the central bank to launch its Import Data Processing and Monitoring System by the end of September.
The resulting database will allow “various agencies” to “gather the relevant information for taking early appropriate action”, the SIT said, adding that it considered the use of RBI-held data by agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence to be of “critical importance”.
The RBI currently holds data regarding the inflow and outflow of money to the country in databases such as the FET-ERS, the EDPMS and the soon-to-be-launched IDPMS. The Finance Ministry said that data already provided by the central bank on advance remittances sent abroad and outstanding export revenue show gaps “that are used by unscrupulous elements to take out precious capital outside the country, thus damaging the fabric of [the] Indian economy”.
In measures taken against black money holders in India so far, the central government has launched a drive to identify transactions made with illegally obtained cash and has also opened an extended window for Indian residents to disclose their undeclared assets.