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LS passes Black Money Bill with Opposition support

The law will help bring black money in the declared economy, improve tax collections and facilitate lowering of tax rates.

By: Press Trust of India Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: May 12, 2015 8:38 am
Black money bill, Lok Sabha Black money, arun jaitley Black money, india Black money, Black money, Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, Arun Jaitley news, india news, indian express For those wanting to come clean, Jaitley said there would be a compliance window in two parts. (Source: PTI photo)

A stringent law imposing 120 per cent tax, jail term of up to 10 years and penalty on undisclosed foreign assets and income to deal with the black money menace was passed in Lok Sabha Monday by voice vote and with support from the Opposition.

The Congress argued that the Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015, is a finance bill. However, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan agreed to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s argument that it is a money bill, in which case approval of the Upper House is not mandatory.

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Although the Opposition backed the bill, most parties demanded that the bill be referred to a parliamentary panel. Jaitley rejected the demand saying there was an urgent need to bring in a legislation so that action could be taken against the guilty. He dismissed apprehensions that the legislation would turn out to be draconian.

Under the proposed law, there would be a short compliance window within which persons with undisclosed income abroad can come clean by paying 30 per cent tax and 30 per cent penalty. Once the window closes, anyone found having undeclared overseas wealth would be required to pay 30 per cent tax, 90 per cent penalty and face criminal prosecution, Jaitley said. There could be a two-month window to declare overseas assets and income and a six-month period to pay tax and penalty, he added.

Earlier, Congress’ Deepender Hooda said his party would back the bill as it did not want to be accused of “standing between people and Rs 15 lakh” promised by PM Narendra Modi.

The bill will now go to Rajya Sabha.

Major hurdles await black money bill in Rajya Sabha

♦ The black money bill passed in Lok Sabha by a voice vote on Monday is likely to face major hurdles in Rajya Sabha. The Congress said the Bill requires parliamentary panel scrutiny as it has “TADA provisions” and questioned Lok Sabha Speaker’s ruling that it was a money bill. Congress deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said the party was not opposed to the black money bill, but argued it required scrutiny. “A Bill in which you have stringent provisions, virtually the TADA provisions of 10 years’ imprisonment, is being camouflaged as a Money Bill.

♦ We find it difficult to accept. It should be brought in as a criminal law Bill. It is not budget, it is not demand for grants or an appropriation Bill,” he said.

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  1. B
    May 12, 2015 at 12:06 am
    Many Indians and Indian origin persons have their children born abroad in countries like USA and UK, when they were working or studying abroad. There those kids got foreign pports. But their parents do not disclose it when they come back and settle in India. Those foreign nationals enjoy all the benefits reserved for Indian kids (subsidized tuition fee in Indian universities/insutes, Govt and private jobs, real estate ownership and so on- reserved for Indian nationals) due to crime of their parents. Such parents also deposit money abroad in the name of the kids. Such activities is very common among academics, professors, scientists, and IT professionals, i.e. anyone living abroad for decent amount of time and then come back to India. Indian Govt should make similar laws for such criminals and crime too.
    1. M
      Mohit Sharma
      May 13, 2015 at 11:33 am
      This bill will be widely misused by income tax officials to settle the scores n even if one is not guilty and still forced to pay penalty and imprisonment.... how you justify that one person have Rs.100 in his pocket and he will pay Rs.120 as tax.... Mr Finance minister is gone mad... thats all we should ume... if he says that a person have rs.100 and we will take all that Rs.100 into govt custody... that is understandable..... Govt is for the benefit of Public not to punish the the public like a dictator do.... I can understand how our Finance Minister lost his brain after loosing elections in Amritsar... but why should public suffer....
      1. J
        May 12, 2015 at 7:22 am
        Good law needs to improve gdp and nation wealth first. Later very appreciate move against pochers
        1. R
          May 12, 2015 at 3:02 am
          Good law now let's see if government prosecutes even a single politician? Or even one of the big rich fat cats. They may go after few small fish to get people excited and hide all of their rich friends and politicians.
          1. S
            May 13, 2015 at 10:00 pm
            Rubbish. We have seen India's absurd laws since the Grotesque "Animal Farm" Consution of 1949. There are already enough laws in India to render all Indians criminal. That is the way of Totalitarian States. To follow the Nehru dictum of "Show me the person and I shall show you the law". India's fabled courts of political convenience and corruption will oblige the powerful and the wealthy. (For a share of the spoils?) As they always have.
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