The ambitious initiative to use social media analytics to identify tax non-compliance is a "$100-million project" for the infotech arm of engineering giant Larsen & Toubro.
Since the note ban last November, the government has been putting in lots of efforts to plug the loopholes in the taxation system using advanced technology and the attempt got an added focus since the Reserve Bank of India in June admitted that as much as 99 per cent of the banned notes had returned to the system, negating the stated intent of cancelling 87 per cent of the notes in circulation.
"That is really advanced analytics. Now, that is like a $100-million deal for us. It's not a small deal," LT Infotech chief executive and managing director Sanjay Jalona told PTI.
Terming the work awarded by the Central Board of Direct Taxes as a "high volume digital deal", he elaborated that the project involves creating a 'semantic web' where web pages are structured and tagged in such a way that can be directly read by the computers.
"We are creating a systematic web on a person. If his wife is going to the Seychelles and putting photos on Instagram, we will capture it ... that is really advanced analytics," Jalona said.
It can be noted that in its efforts to shore up tax collections in a country with among the lowest tax to GDP ratios among its peers, the government has decided to use the best that data analytics offers.