Cabinet approves bill on black money

LoginRegister@indiatimesLoginRegister@indiatimesUnion Cabinet clears new bill on black moneyNEW DELHI: The Cabinet on Tuesday cleared introduction of the black money bill later this week, including a provision to allow the government to launch a one-time compliance scheme for those with black money abroad to come clean before the new law kicks in.

The details of the compliance scheme, including the penalty, are expected to be announced as part of the rules. The offer for full disclosure will be available for a few months, although the exact duration of the one-time window has not yet been finalized, sources said.

On March 1, TOI was the first to report about the government’s plan as it announced a tough legislation to deal with evaders.

READ ALSO: Posts in SIT on black money vacant: Govt

The scheme, which will be announced when the bill is tabled in Parliament, will provide for penalty on the undisclosed amount and help avoid imprisonment. The government is ready to introduce the legislation before Parliament breaks for recess at the end of the week but needs to get a green light from the President as it is a money bill, sources said.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley has proposed a series of tough measures against those with undisclosed overseas assets and income. This included a provision for up to 10 years imprisonment for concealment, along with tax at the rate of 300%. Further, those found to have either failed to file tax returns or those with incomplete details face up to seven years in jail.

These entities and individuals will also be barred from seeking the help of the Settlement Commission and concealment of assets abroad would be linked to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, enabling Indian authorities to attach local assets and properties.

READ ALSO: Black money: 6 months for voluntary disclosure?

In his budget speech, Jaitley had identified dealing with black money as a key element of his budget as the Narendra Modi government is keen to see to it that it fulfils its promise of unearthing black money, especially undisclosed funds in foreign bank accounts or in other assets.

By providing for stiff penalties in the bill, the government wants to send a clear message to evaders, while admitting that domestic black money is also a concern that the tax department should not lose sight of.

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