Cabinet approves bill on tracing black money

New Delhi: Giving concrete shape to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s announcement of a bill to trace black money, the union cabinet on Tuesday approved a new law to track unaccounted wealth.

Finance ministry sources told IANS that the union cabinet approved the Foreign Income and Undisclosed Assets (Imposition of New Tax) Bill, 2015, for tabling in the Lok Sabha.

“On black money, a new structure including e-filing and tracking down is our abiding commitment,” Jaitley had said announcing the measures in his first full budget speech on February 28.

He said a “comprehensive new law to track black money” would be framed and there will be rigorous imprisonment of 10 years under the black money law.

The finance minister said a ‘benami’ (proxy) property transaction bill will be brought to tackle black money transactions in real estate.

The new law would entail rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years and a penalty of 300 percent on its perpetrators.

Those evading tax by sending money to foreign countries would not be allowed to approach the Settlement Commission, Jaitley had told parliament while announcing his 2014-15 annual budget.

He had also said that not filing income tax returns or filing them with inadequate disclosures would lead to rigorous imprisonment of up to seven years.

Undisclosed income from any foreign assets would be taxable at the maximum marginal rate. It also becomes mandatory to file returns vis-a-vis foreign assets. If an offence is detected, banks, financial institutions and individuals will all be liable for prosecution and penalty.

Concealment of income or evasion of tax in relation to a foreign asset will become an offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, the minister had said.