Suspicious banking transactions increased by a whopping three lakh in 2016-2017, the Reserve Bank of India said in its annual report released on Wednesday.
“During 2016-17, the number of suspicious transaction reports filed by banks and other financial intermediaries with the Financial Intelligence Unit, Government of India, witnessed a quantum jump,” the RBI revealed.
According to the statistics, banks reported 3,61,214 suspicious transactions in 2016-2017, while the figure stood at 61,361 the previous financial year.
In its report, the RBI suggested that they may be able to detect this unaccounted for cash, which they believe could be black money, if they followed these transactions and deposits. This directly links such suspicious cases to demonetisation and its impact.
“The trail of deposits of Specified Bank Notes [Rs 500 and Rs 1,000] into bank accounts may provide valuable information to revenue authorities in tracing unaccounted money,” the report explained.
Among RBI-regulated financial bodies not designated as banks, insurance firms, housing finance institutions, non-banking financial companies and chit funds, this figure saw a jump from 40,333 in 2015-2016 to 94,836 in 2016-2017.
In December 2016, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely had said that deposits made after the demonetisation drive was launched on November 8, 2016, would be thoroughly scrutinised, and that merely depositing money into bank accounts will not make them turn white.
“I may only clarify that merely depositing money in the bank does not mean that it changes colour from black to white,” he had said. “Its tax liability would still remain because what is unexplained would still remain taxable.”