New Delhi: Film production is not free from cases of tax evasion and the government is taking penal proceedings in such cases, Parliament has been informed.
Tax evasion has been detected in various sectors of the economy, including in the film sector, Minister of State for Finance S S Palanimanickam said in a written reply to Lok Sabha on Friday.
Sector-wise details are not separately maintained, he added.
The Minister was responding to a question on whether cases of production of films by the use of black money in the country have come to the notice of the government.
Palanimanickam said the Income Tax Department investigates violations of direct tax laws based on credible information relating to tax evasion.
The department brings the undisclosed amount to taxation through various measures like scrutiny of returns, surveys, search and seizure.
Among others, search and seizure are carried out in cases of persons engaged in diversified business and professions, including the film sector.
"The drive against tax evasion is a continuous and ongoing exercise. On receipt of credible information, appropriate action is taken...," the Minister said.
Replying to another query, he said, as many as 12,515 cases of tax evasion were detected in 2011-12 and 13,787 in the previous year. In 2009-10 fiscal, 10,243 cases of tax evasion were detected.
He further informed that disciplinary proceedings were initiated in the cases of 71 and 147 officers of CBDT and CBEC respectively during the calendar years 2010, 2011 and 2012 for "showing lack of devotion to duty or for conduct unbecoming of government servant while discharging their duties."
On finalisation of the disciplinary proceedings as per rules, appropriate penal consequences follow, Palanimanickam added.
To another question, Palanimanickam said the government has not identified any country as tax haven with regard to black money.
He further said the government has commissioned a study, inter alia, on estimation of unaccounted income and wealth both from inside and outside the country.
"The study reports are still in the process of finalisation by the respective institutes," Palanimanickam added.
The study is being conducted by three institutes -- National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM) separately.
He also said all the revised and new Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) and Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) contain provisions for exchange of information under which tax authorities can seek ownership and banking information among others.