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Project Insight: Tax Department To Analyse Social Media Data

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The law has a far reach but it is blindfolded. The statement is quite common in all circles. But recently, the government of India has taken steps to ensure the eyes of the law to be present everywhere. With the mandatory linking of the Aadhar Card to the PAN number of a person, the government took the first step. Another step which it plans on taking is collecting data from social media websites to track a person’s spending patterns and declared income. This new move is being called ‘Project Insight’ and is a step by the government to collect vital information for tracking black money. Likely to be launched next month, it will ensure that the people, who post pictures of their assets bought with ‘under the table’ income, will surely be scared enough to not show off on social media.

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An official from the tax department revealed that the department would analyse the mismatches between people’s spending and income declaration as it is not uncommon for people to put their lives on display on social media. This analysis would help the department trace tax evasions and black money. It was also reported that the department signed a pact with L&T Infotech last year for the implementation of this project. Project Insight is currently in its beta stage and the integrated platform for Project Insight is expected to be launched by next month. The project will be a huge step in the curbing of black money, along with its various applications in data mining, collection, collation and processing of the collected information to widen and deepen the tax base.

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The government has been on alert, taking steps to tax the undeclared wealth in India. The first step in the project ‘Operation Clean Money’ was demonetization of the higher value currency. Next came the integration of internet and technology into digital payments. Aadhaar linking to the PAN was another step. Project Insight has been in plans for quite a while now and the implementation next month would surely be a huge step to stop tax evasion.

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