New Delhi: Crediting Prime Minister Narendra Modi with “walking the talk” on black money, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that the Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS) 2016 had elicited “a very large response.”
In a blog post titled “The campaign against black money”, he said that Modi has consistently taken a tough position against black money and “is now walking the talk”.
The minister said that investigations by Income Tax authorities in the last two years have resulted in detection of undisclosed income of Rs 56,378 crore, while the IDS 2016 has resulted in over 64,275 people declaring undisclosed income of over Rs 65,250 crore and final figures are likely to be revised upwards.
Stressing IDS 2016 was not an immunity scheme but a disclosure scheme, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said its objective was to try and make India a more tax compliant society, as tax compliance leads to higher revenues, reduction of budget deficits and money collected is spent on infrastructure, social sector and the rural areas, which benefits the poor.
Listing the steps taken by the Modi government against unaccounted wealth, he cited the cabinet’s first decision to accept the three-year-old Supreme Court direction for a special investigation team which the previous UPA Government “had resisted”, and accepting the SIT’s recommendation for mandatory quoting PAN number for cash transactions.
The minister said that certain tax frauds were liable to attract the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and while the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) was amended to confiscate domestic assets in lieu of undisclosed foreign assets.
Noting that 644 declarants disclosed foreign assets worth Rs 4,164 crore and paid 60 percent tax under the black money law, he said those who did not declare have been detected and “will face serious penal consequences.”
He said in the HSBC cases, assessment with regard to Rs 8,000 crore has been made and 164 prosecutions filed, while on disclosures made by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Rs 5,000 crore has been detected as unlawful income of Indian citizens abroad and 55 prosecutions have already been filed.
He said in the Panama cases, investigations were at a very advanced level and 250
references have been made to other countries on unlawful assets held by Indians outside.
“IT capability has led to the detection of non-filers and recovery of Rs.16,000 crores as tax from the non-filers monitoring system,” Jaitley said.