New Delhi: In run up to the general elections last year, BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to bring back the black money stashed abroad. They promised the money would bring down the poverty and inflation in the country.
After coming to power, the NDA government led by Narendra Modi formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to tackle the black money issue. Nine months have passed but it has not yielded any visible result. However, SIT has studied the case and made recommendations to the finance ministry.
In the Union Budget that is to be presented on February 28, Finance minister Arun Jaitley is likely to announce policy initiatives on some of the key recommendations made by the SIT.
The SIT has suggested over a dozen steps that need to be taken by the government to check "black economy" in the country. Some special recommendations and requirements have been also been raised by various financial investigation agencies which they feel will arm them to effectively deal with the problem of black money.
Announcement of amendments in anti-money laundering laws and Income Tax Act could be hoped in the Budget. SIT has also demanded to strengthen official protocols regarding sharing of information between various law enforcement agencies, which can be addressed in the Union Budget.
"Investigative agencies under various ministries have made presentations before the finance ministry with regard to the challenges they face when implementing anti-tax evasion laws or those used to counter such crimes. Some of these are expected to be taken up in the Budget," reported PTI, citing sources privy to the development.
One of the key recommendations by the SIT is to utilize the Permanent Account Number (PAN) issued by the Income Tax department in probing the black money cases. The SIT submitted its report to the Supreme Court and government last year in December.
SIT has also recommended amending the law so tax evasion can be considered as a crime.
"It could be done in a way that beyond a certain limit of say Rs 50 lakh tax evasion, as the SIT suggested, prosecution could be mandatorily initiated under the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961," PTI quoted a source.