To capitalise on the proposed changes in the Budget and the information on black money available with the government, the government is revitalising the economic intelligence council (EIC) headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.
The working group on intelligence apparatus pertaining to the EIC, which includes representatives from the enforcement directorate, the directorate of revenue intelligence, the income tax investigation, the Intelligence Bureau and the ministry of home affairs, is scheduled to meet under the chairmanship of finance and revenue secretary R S Gujral on April 20. The meeting, which would review the functioning of regional economic intelligence committees (REICs) across the country, is being held at the behest of the finance minister.
Officials from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would attend the meeting as special invitees.
In the meeting, the working group is slated to review the cases taken up by various participating agencies in 2011-12, the co-ordination among different investigating agencies and the additional revenue generated in the cases taken up by REICs. It would also analyse ways to enhance the effectiveness of the EIC forum and suggest corrective measures for its optimum utilisation.
A senior finance ministry official told Business Standard currently, 22 REICs, a platform for co-ordination and co-operation among various investigating agencies, were working across the country and local agencies, including the police, were also a part of the system.
To rejuvenate the apparatus for meeting current needs, the group would study the cases taken up last year, on the basis of data on action taken in various cases and the additional revenue realised. It would also suggest a strategy for enhancing co-ordination among investigating agencies to optimise results, the official said.
The focus of the meeting would be on intelligence reports on major cases that could be shared and on analysis of the results achieved by REICs in the cases taken up for joint co-ordination and action.
Explaining the idea behind the exercise, an official from one of the investigating agencies said the group would look at how to inspire intelligence sharing at local levels to bust specific modules pertaining to cases of economic crime and tax evasion. He, however, said there couldn’t be a one-to-one co-relation between intelligence inputs and additional revenue, and it would be erroneous to look at this exercise as one aimed at additional revenue generation.
The Central Economic Intelligence Bureau is acting as secretariat to the EIC and the government is looking at an integrated and well-coordinated approach in handling tax evasion and cases associated with black money with the help of this platform.