NEW DELHI, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Tax evaders deprived India's coffers of about 98 billion rupees ($1.84 billion) in service taxes during April to December 2012, a finance ministry official said on Friday.
"Of the 98 billion rupees, about 20 billion rupees have been recovered," Lipika Majumdar Roy Choudhury, member, service tax, said.
The department is making efforts to recover the remainder, she added.
Battling tax evasion has become one of the key agendas of Finance Minister P. Chidambaram as he looks to keep an already bloated fiscal deficit target to 5.3 percent for the full year. ($1 = 53.1900 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Manoj Kumar; editing by Malini Menon)