Over Rs 16,200 crore in black money has been detected by the government after investigations on global leaks about Indians stashing funds abroad, Parliament was informed on Tuesday. “As a result of systematic investigations, undisclosed income of about Rs 8,200 crore (including protective assessment of income of Rs 1,497 crore) has been brought to tax in last about 2 years on account of deposits made in unreported foreign bank accounts in HSBC. “Further, about Rs 8,000 crore of credits in the undisclosed foreign accounts of Indians, whose names were disclosed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), have been detected,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
There is no official estimation of quantum of black money stashed abroad by Indians, he said. “The government is, however, committed to taking all possible measures to bring back black money stashed by Indians in foreign countries,” he said. The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 (The BM Act) was enacted to specifically and effectively tackle the issue of black money stashed away abroad, the minister said.
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The BM Act provides for more stringent provisions of penalties and prosecutions in respect of black money stashed away abroad, he said. “Further, under this law, for the first time the offence of wilful attempt to evade tax, etc. in relation to undisclosed foreign income/assets has been made a Scheduled Offence for the purposes of the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA),” he added. Jaitley also listed a number of measures that have been put in place by the government to curb the menace of black money.