Deposits amounting to only around Rs 5,000 crore have been made under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), launched post-demonetisation, the government said on Thursday, attributing the tepid response to the scheme for declaring unaccounted income to multiple factors. “The Rs 5,000 crore declared under PMGKY is mainly on account of two factors,” Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said at a media briefing here by the Union Finance Ministry. “Even before the scheme was announced, people had put their money in various accounts,” he said referring to the rush witnessed to deposit high-value currency notes after these were junked under the November 8 demonetisation measure.”
“Besides, the rates (tax) we had fixed under PMGKY, people found 75 per cent of their money blocked,” he added. The scheme allowed deposits to be made in the form of cash or in an account with bank or post office or specified entity, with a tax, surcharge and penalty totalling up to 49.90 per cent. Mandatory deposit of 25 per cent of the undisclosed income is to be made in PMGKY. The deposits are interest-free and have a lock-in period of four years. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said PMGKY was competing with other similar schemes. “First, you had the IDS (Income Declaration Scheme) … over and above came the PMGKY,” Jaitley said.
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“Two, three exercises are going on simultaneously. People who had deposits disproportionately larger than their income, the Income Tax Department has asked for their details. Those who have replied, these are being processed… while those who haven’t, cases are being filed against them,” he said of the exercise dubbed ‘Operation Clean Money’. The Finance Minister also said that the Benami Transactions Act, that has come into operation recently, also has the objective of curbing black money.