New Delhi: Stepping up its effort to curb domestic black money, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill with the hope of introducing them in the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament 2015.
The Benami Transaction Bill provides for confiscation of assets held in the name of another person or under a fictitious name to avoid taxation and to conceal illegally obtained wealth.
The amendments aim to strengthen the Bill in terms of legal and administrative procedure so as to overcome the practical difficulties which may arise in the implementation of the provisions of the Bill when it becomes an Act, according to an official.
Notably, checking the flow of black money is one of the electoral promises of Narendra Modi government.
The bill provides for a fine of up to 25% of the fair value of the asset and imprisonment of up to seven years, unlike an earlier lapsed version of the bill, which stipulated either a fine or imprisonment.
“The legislation is also intended to effectively prohibit benami transactions and consequently prevent circumvention of law through unfair practices. It empowers the Government to confiscate benami property,” officials said.
However, those who declare their benami properties under income declaration scheme will get immunity under the Benami Act.
The benami (without a name) property refers to property purchased by a person in the name of some other person.
The person on whose name the property has been purchased is called the benamdar and the property so purchased is called the benami property. The person who finances the deal is the real owner.