A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence-Day speech talked about the steps taken to unearth black money, industry chamber CII today hailed the government’s efforts to fight the menace while advocating ‘stringent punishments’ for offenders.
“Black money is a serious problem, which needs strict handling. The black money that is either outside the country and or inside needs to be brought into the economic mainstream for obvious reasons,” CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said in a statement.
The industry body further said the offenders of black money must be dealt with stringent punishments.
“In this context CII commends the steps announced in ‘The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015’, which will help in curbing black money,” it added.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) termed the Black Money Bill a step in right direction, as it provides for strict prosecution and also for a one-time voluntary compliance opportunity for immunity from prosecution if appropriate taxes and penalty are paid.
The Prime Minister yesterday in his Independence-Day speech at Red Fort said the Centre has been able to so far receive Rs 6,500-crore undeclared foreign assets under the black money compliance window.
Appreciating the government’s steps on curbing black money, CII said the government has taken several steps including agreements with countries like US for real time sharing of information on Indian nationals holding assets abroad.
Many countries across the world have adopted measures to prevent illicit financial outflows and promote disclosure of unreported income, stringent penalties are applicable under money laundering legislations globally, CII added.
However, on the compliance window under the new Black Money Act, very recently top industrialist Rahul Bajaj had said the government was creating roadblocks for itself and the new law could be used to harass people.
As per the law, which has been passed by Parliament and would come into force from April 1, 2016, the penalty would be much higher at 90 per cent, in addition to a 30 per cent tax on undisclosed foreign assets, while such persons would also face criminal prosecution with a jail term of up to ten years.