New Delhi: Under pressure to unearth black money, the Finance Ministry has modified the format for reporting suspicious transactions to help enforcement and regulatory agencies take prompt action to deal with the menace.

The new reporting formats -- Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs), Cash Transaction Reports (CTRs), Counterfeit Currency Reports (CCRs) and Non-Profit Organisation Transaction Reports (NTRs) -- were introduced after the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) recently operationalised its ambitious 'intelligence network', a project sanctioned in 2006.

The launch of the network comes at a time when civil society has stepped up pressure on the government to unearth black money and it has introduced various measures to crack down on financial scams, frauds and large-scale tax evasion.

"The earlier prescribed multiple data files reporting format is being replaced by a new XML file format," a senior Finance Ministry official said.

"Three new formats -- account-based reporting format and transaction-based reporting format for filing STRs, CTRs and NTRs and a separate reporting format to file CCRs -- have been introduced and notified to RBI, SEBI and IRDA and other such entities," the official said.

The new network, called FINnet (Financial Intelligence Network), is a technology-based secure platform for bringing together investigative and enforcement agencies to collect, analyse and disseminate valuable financial information for combating money laundering and related crimes.

The network, developed by software giant Wipro, will share classified financial information between agencies like the Income Tax department, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Narcotics Control Bureau and Central Bureau of Investigation, among others.

"We expect a significant increase in reporting of suspicious transactions in the future. Role of these agencies and the FIU in combating money laundering and financing of terrorism is expected to increase significantly in the coming years and the FINnet will act as the secure platform and repository for exchange of data," a senior Finance Ministry officer said.

The FIU is the national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analysing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions.

The new intelligence network will enhance automatic detection of suspicious patterns of financial transactions using data mining tools and will generate alerts from analysis of CTRs for further action by agencies.

(Agencies)