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Black Money Bill: Any non-disclosed income or asset outside India will attract 90% penalty

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500 India rupee notes

By Harshmeet Singh

Moving forward on its long standing commitment of bringing back the illicit Indian money concealed abroad, the Modi Government, on Friday, finally tabled a bill in the Lok Sabha which would cover such offences. Called the ‘The Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015’, it would come into effect (if passed by the Parliament) beginning from 1st April, 2016.

The official statement before the introduction of the Bill said “In order to fulfil the commitment made by the Government to the people of India through the Parliament, the Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015 has been introduced in the Parliament on 20.03.2015.  The Bill provides for separate taxation of any undisclosed income in relation to foreign income and assets. Such income will henceforth not be taxed under the Income-tax Act but under the stringent provisions of the proposed new legislation,”

Major provisions of the Bill

The Bill includes the following penalties to be levied upon Black money holders –

Any non-disclosed income or asset outside India would attract a penalty tax, which would be thrice the normal tax slab of 30%, making it 90%. Significantly, this penalty would be over and above the normal tax payable at 30%.

  • If the individual doesn’t furnish returns on his / her foreign income or asset (even if there is no taxable income), it would result in a penalty of Rs 10 lakh. However, undisclosed foreign accounts worth less than Rs 5 lakh won’t attract any penalty.
  • Apart from the hefty fines, the wilful offenders of tax evasion would also be slapped with a rigorous imprisonment for a period of 3 to 10 years.
  • If the person fails to furnish returns on the foreign assets and income held by him / her (even if there is no taxable income), it would attract a rigorous imprisonment for a period ranging from 6 months to 7 years.
  • Aiding or enticing in filing a false return or incorrect declaration would also result into a rigorous imprisonment for a period ranging from 6 months to 7 years. This clause is also applicable to the financial intermediaries and Banks who assist in such secrecy. The beneficial owners of the asset would also come under the purview of this provision.

Safeguards in the Bill

Following the principles of natural justice, as mentioned in our constitution, the proposed bill contains multiple provisions for ensuring that the accused gets enough chances to prove his / her innocence. The bill calls for obligatory issue of notices to the accused, a fair chance of being heard, providing orders in writing, acceptance of the evidence brought forth by him to prove his stand and much more. Furthermore, the accused would also have the right to appeal to the ‘Income tax appellate tribunal’, the concerned High Court and the Supreme Court, if needed.

To encourage voluntary disclosure, the bill also provides for a one time reprieve to all those who would be willing to voluntarily disclose their illicit money or assets stashed abroad. This provision is applicable only for a limited period wherein the person must disclose his / her foreign asset and file a declaration to the concerned tax authority by paying the legitimate tax and the penalty. Notably, this isn’t a pardoning clause since the person would still be slapped with the penalty in proportion to the undisclosed assets. However, the persons making voluntary disclosures won’t be prosecuted under the harsh provisions introduced in the Bill.

The bill also seeks to amend the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and bring ‘concealment of income and evasion of tax in relation to a foreign asset’ under its purview as a ‘predicate offence’. This move would empower the enforcement agencies to impound the foreign assets in question and begin its proceedings. The date of opening of the foreign account has also been made a mandatory disclosure under the proposed bill.

 

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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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BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi wants to know if Research being done on Goodness of Cow Urine

New Delhi MP Lekhi had a starred question to Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh in the Lok Sabha related to the quality of milk products of Delhi Milk Scheme; however, she went on a different track altogether

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Gau Mata
Indian cow. Pixabay
  • BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi mentioned in the Lok Sabha a case about an official who got cured of a “serious” illness after consuming cow urine as medicine
  • He also asked if the government was encouraging any research on the medicinal properties that can be derived from cattle
  • Lekhi discussed the goodness of bovine by-products including cow urine and lamented how the “ancient science” had disappeared

New Delhi, August 2, 2017: BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi mentioned in the Lok Sabha a case about an official who got cured of a “serious” illness after consuming cow urine as medicine, and asked if the government was encouraging any research on the medicinal properties that can be derived from cattle.

New Delhi MP Lekhi had a starred question to Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday related to the quality of milk products of Delhi Milk Scheme (DMS). However, she went on a different track altogether, and discussed the goodness of bovine by-products including cow urine and lamented how the “ancient science” had disappeared.

Meenakshi Lekhi
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi. Wikimedia

Lekhi mentioned a case where a person who was a “former ASD” was taken seriously ill, and was cured after he consumed cow urine as medicine.

She said the “ancient science” of the country has disappeared and asked if the government is planning to commission research on the medicinal science related to cattle.

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Minister Radha Mohan Singh in reply said under the “Rashtriya gomang Utpadak Mission”, a centre was being established in Karnal, Haryana.

Lekhi then said that the humus content in soil is coming down due to which it converts into dust which is a threat to health. The MP said cow dung can be used as fertiliser and also suggested using cow waste for methane production.

ALSO READRam Temple at Ayodhya is a part of the BJP Agenda, says Amit Shah

She also asked if the government has any plans of using cow dung for increasing humus content of soil.

Singh said the government is concerned about the environment, but added that the main question was focused on quality of milk products of DMS.

This prompted Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to say on a lighter note that it was the minister’s skill that he could answer unrelated questions.

Mahajan however added that MPs are not reading the question.

“I am sad that MPs are not reading the questions, even those who ask the question do not read it,” she said. (IANS)

 

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Tamil Nadu ministers discuss issue of having talks with rival faction led by former CM O. Pannneerselvam

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Former Tamil Nadu CM O. Pannneerselvam, Wikimedia

Chennai, April 18, 2017: In a late night meeting on Monday, senior Tamil Nadu ministers discussed the issue of having talks with the rival faction led by former Chief Minister O.Pannneerselvam, said Finance Minister D.Jayakumar.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Jayakumar welcomed Panneerselvam’s remark that he is open for talks if somebody comes with the plan to merge the two factions in AIADMK.

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He said that Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai also welcomed Panneerselvam’s remark and the stand of the ministers is also the same.

The ministers belong to the faction led by AIADMK General Secretary V.K.Sasikala. (IANS)