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    IT search and seizures dipped after peaking in FY19, government says

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    IT search and seizures dipped after peaking in FY19, government says

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    According to the Ministry of Finance, the quantum of assets seized by the taxman in FY19 reached a peak of Rs 1,567 crore but has dropped considerably since.

    Searches and seizures of tax evaders have decreased over the past two years, Parliament was informed by Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary on Wednesday.
    The income tax agency, which conducted searches and seizures against 984 organisations in FY20, carried out only 686 searches in FY22.
    According to the Ministry of Finance, the quantum of assets seized by the taxman in FY19 reached a peak of Rs 1,567 crore but has dropped considerably since.
    The data provided by the government show that 582 organisations were searched in FY18, resulting in the seizure of assets worth Rs 992 crore. The investigation operations then expanded in FY19, and the taxman searched 966 groups seizing assets worth Rs 1,567 crore.
    Since then, the number of groups being searched has declined, with 569 groups being inspected in FY21 and 686 groups being searched in FY22.
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    Nevertheless, the number of open cases for investigations has been rising every year and reached a record of 1,908 pending cases in FY22. Pending cases have jumped from 674 to 1,390 cases in FY18, followed by 1,699 in FY20 and 1,828 in FY21. 
    According to statistics presented by the minister of finance to the parliament, the number of prosecutions has also significantly decreased from 771 in FY19 to 115 in FY22.
    The data given shows that convictions have also decreased, with the department only succeeding in convicting four of the 115 people in FY22, down from 23 in FY18.
    Additionally, 10 people were cleared of charges in FY20, post which no one has been acquitted.
     
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