New Delhi: Taking a step forward against black money, the Finance Ministry has asked the Income Tax Department to launch immediate prosecution action in tax evasion cases wherein tangible assets and investments are located in foreign shores.

The department has been asked to do away with the norm of taking permission from higher authorities to initiate legal action and begin proceedings against tax evasion.

The Finance Ministry's Foreign Taxation division can now ask the I-T range concerned to begin prompt prosecution action and issue summons to the depositor based on the evidence provided by the financial enforcement wing of the foreign nation concerned.

"The CBDT has issued orders in this regard as this will help in initiating quick action in cases where foreign accounts or assets have been traced by investigators," a senior I-T officer said.

The step is also aimed at ensuring seamless flow of information between the investigating officer and the party under prosecution.

Sources said the step has been taken in the backdrop of CBDT obtaining for the first time investment data of few Indians who had accounts in Germany's Leichestein bank, recently.

According to sources, empowering investigators with such a step will also help India showcase its seriousness to the international financial enforcement community on addressing issues of black money and illicit funds.

Agencies