Monday December 11, 2017
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Black money: disclosure to get immunity under FEMA, PMLA

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ArunJaitley

 

New Delhi: The government on Monday said immunity from prosecution would be given under specific laws to those declaring undisclosed foreign assets under the compliance window of the new Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) Act.

Releasing a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), the finance ministry said disclosures made under the said Act would have “immunity from prosecution under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Income Tax Act, Wealth Tax Act, Companies Act and Customs Act”.

It, however, does not provide immunity from prosecution under any other statute.

Illustrating with an example, the ministry said that if the undisclosed asset has been acquired out of the proceeds of sale of protected animals, the person will not be eligible for immunity under the Wildlife (Protection) Act.

The offence of willful attempt to evade tax will also not be an offence under the PMLA, the FAQs said.

The one-time 90-day compliance window granted to foreign asset holders to make a declaration, however, does not guarantee immunity for wealth generated from corruption, it added.

On the compliance rule that bars persons against whom the government has prior information, the FAQs said declarations by such persons will be dealt under the Income Tax Act and not under the black money law that came into force last week.

This concession will be available only to those who have not received any intimation from the tax department having prior information about their foreign assets.

Persons making declarations will be intimated on whether the government has any prior information by October 31, a month after the end of the 90-day compliance window on September 30.

The ministry last week notified September 30 as the expiry date of the compliance window, while allowing those with undisclosed income and assets abroad time till December 31 to pay the levies.

“Hence, while people will have three months to declare their undeclared assets, they will have another three months to pay the penalties and taxes on the said assets,” a finance ministry press release said here.

The government last week also notified rules for calculating income and assets abroad under the Black Money Act.

The value of the overseas assets, including immovable property, jewellery and precious stones, archaeological collections and paintings, shares and securities and shares in unlisted firms abroad will be calculated at the fair market value, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in a notification here.

The value of an overseas bank account will be the sum of all deposits made in the account since its opening, the CBDT said.

The Black Money Act, for the first time, allows levy of tax in India on assets kept abroad.

Unlawful, undisclosed income abroad has been taxed under this law at the rate of 30 percent with an additional 30 percent penalty.

The law provides for a compliance window for declaring and paying penalty. Failure to meet the compliance timeline will attract an additional penalty of 90 percent for a total tax liability of 120 percent on the quantum of black money stashed abroad.

Admitting that there was no official estimation on black money within India or stashed abroad, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told parliament during its last budget session that the government was examining the reports of three institutes on the matter.

An unofficial estimate of illegal money stashed overseas puts it somewhere between $466 billion and $1.4 trillion.

(IANS)

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Demonetisation Anniversary: BJP acts cheeky, releases new video showing Frustration of ‘Corrupt’ Politicians following Demonetisation

The one-minute video, which is now going viral on social media, has already been re-tweeted more than 2 thousand times since it was released on November 7, on the eve of demonetization move.

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Demonetisation Anniversary
Screen grab of the sarcastic video released by BJP to mark Demonetisation Anniversary. Twitter

New Delhi, November 8, 2017 : On November 8 2016, every Indian citizen sat glued to their TV screens as Narendra Modi was set to make a big announcement. Outcome? The Indian Prime Minster shocked the entire nation with the introduction of Demonetisation, a move that was to change the very foundation of the cash-dependent Indian economy.

The much-debated move by Modi garnered the attention of several well-versed economists from the country and abroad, alike. While some people willingly welcomed the move, there were others who stood in staunch criticism.

As the move completes its first year, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to observe November 8 as ‘anti-black money day’ to celebrate Demonetisation anniversary in the country.

On the eve of the Demonetisation anniversary, the BJP released a cheeky video claiming to depict how ‘corrupt’ politicians have been criticizing the move, as the nation won following demonetisation.

WATCH BJP’S TONGUE-IN-CHEEK VIDEO

In the video, the BJP attempted to take a dig at corrupt politicians, who have been criticizing PM Modi’s Demonetisation move.

In the video, a woman, playing the character of a frustrated, corrupt politician can be seen going on a rant over PM Modi’s note ban initiative, which was aimed to combat black money, corruption, fake currency and terrorism.

The video ends with a voice-over saying demonetisation has not only brought out this frustration of corrupt citizens, but also black-money, claiming that almost 99 per cent cash which was previously lying hidden with people has now entered the banking system.

The one-minute video, which is now going viral on social media, has already been re-tweeted more than 2 thousand times since it was released on November 7, on the eve of demonetization move.

Ahead of the Demonetisation anniversary, the last few days have witnessed several leaders present their opinions on PM Modi’s demonetization move.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called PM Modi’s note ban initiative a ‘watershed moment’ while Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways believes the move has pushed India towards a more transparent economy.

However, the move is being criticized by ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling it ‘irresponsible’. The opposition maintains that PM Modi’s note ban initiative has caused reckless damage to the country and the Indian economy.

On Demonetisation anniversary, the BJP is set to observe November 8 as ‘anti-black money day’, while opposition leaders are set to observe the day as ‘black day’ in protest against the note ban initiative.

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“I have saved the Country, as I had promised to do,” says PM Narendra Modi on Demonetisation

The sufferings of the masses would gradually ease, but the problems of the corrupt and the black money hoarders will increase, said Modi

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Modi on note ban
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. VOA

Pune, December 25, 2016: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that if the evils of corruption and black money had been tackled by the previous governments, he would not have been forced to take a tough decision like demonetisation.

“If the ills of the country had been tackled on time in the past 40 years, I would not have resorted to such a harsh decision.

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“Those who failed to take the decision have pushed the country to grave peril — I have saved the country, as I had promised to do,” Modi said at a public rally here after inaugurating the Rs 11,420-crore Pune Metro project.

Continuing with his defence of demonetisation, he again warned the corrupt and black money hoarders to come clean or face the consequences.

Reiterating his earlier statements in Mumbai — to continue the war against corruption, black money hoarders, terror and Maoists until achieving victory — Modi exhorted those with undeclared money to reveal their untaxed wealth and “sleep peacefully”.

“If they don’t declare, then at least I will not sleep,” he warned, vowing to give justice to the 125 crore people of the country, who have suffered over 70 years because of a handful of corrupt elements.

He said after the 50 days post-demonetisation, the sufferings of the masses would gradually ease, but the problems of the corrupt and the black money hoarders will increase. “Nobody will be spared and the poor will get justice.”

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Dwelling on the rural-urban divide, Modi said the Centre has launched a “Rurban Mission” to ensure all-round development of urban centres and the villages without the latter losing their soul.

“In rural areas, we shall improve the quality of life, employment, provide same opportunities and facilities as in urban areas, which can slow the pace of migration from the rural areas to cities,” Modi said.

He said under the changed scenario, people are not merely content with railways or highways, but demand I-ways (Information Highways) and digital grids, and besides water pipelines, they want gas pipelines and optical fibre networks.

“Urbanisation is going on at a brisk pace in India and whatever we do is not enough. If we only think of the next elections, we shall never confront the challenges facing urban areas.

“So, irrespective of the immediate political gains, we must adopt a long-term vision to tackle the challenges of development,” Modi said.

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It was also imperative to complete all projects within the deadline and if possible, think of catering to the needs of the people after 25-30 years, he urged.

Since demonetisation, he said, the value of small currencies like Rs 100-Rs 50 had gone up, the incomes of urban and rural bodies in the country had shot up by 200-300 per cent, compared to the 50-60 per cent earlier.

The additional revenues would be used for public benefit, he added. (IANS)

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Cashless People Standing in Queues lose patience, Attack Banks in Gujarat

People furious over lack of cash in banks on Monday attacked bank branches in two districts of Gujarat, the authorities said

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People queue outside a bank to exchange and deposit their old high denomination banknotes in Masuda village in the desert Indian state of Rajasthan, November 15, 2016. (Representational image)REUTERS/Himanshu Sharma

December 20, 2016: People furious over lack of cash in banks on Monday attacked bank branches in two districts of Gujarat, the authorities said.

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A mob locked up the State Bank of India and Dena Bank branches in Samadhiyala village in Amreli district in Saurashtra region after hundreds waiting in long queues were told the banks had no cash to give.

Most of the people were farmers, witnesses said.

In Surendranagar district, mobs attacked some bank branches and damaged their doors and windows after they were found to have been kept closed for the third consecutive day since Saturday.

The bank authorities said there was no meaning of opening the branches as no cash had reached the branches on Monday.

In Silvassa, capital of the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the manager and some staff members of a nationalized bank were roughed up by people as the bank had no cash to distribute.

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The police had to intervene to rescue the bank staff.

The central government on November 8 demonetised the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, saying the move was aimed at tackling corruption, black money, and terror funding.

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The move has led to an unprecedented cash crunch across the country. (IANS)