Response to the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) has “not been so good”, with only Rs 5,000 crore unaccounted income being declared under the amnesty scheme, the government said on Thursday. The scheme was launched in December last year to enable people with black money to come clean by paying tax and penalty of 50 per cent.
“The response (to the PMGKY) has not been so good…about Rs 5,000 crore of income was declared in PMGKY. There are mainly two factors for it. One, even before the scheme was announced people had tried to put their cash into different accounts. Second was the (tax and penalty) rate,” Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia told reporters.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the PMGKY was preceded by similar schemes and the response should not be seen in isolation.
“Keep in mind that PMGKY in that financial year was not an isolated scheme. You first had the IDS, then you had people depositing cash in banking system knowing it would incur a tax liability and PMGKY was over and above that. When you look at the total amount of disclosures made, you have to look at all three of them collectively,” the minister said, adding the government is continuing the drive against black money under the benami law.
Besides, in the four-month window provided under the Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS) between June-September 2016, as much as Rs 67,382 crore worth illicit wealth was declared.
Offering one last window to black money holders post demonetisation, the government had come out with PMGKY giving them time until March-end to come clean by paying tax and penalty.
It provided for payment of 49.9 per cent tax, surcharge and penalty. Also, a mandatory deposit of 25 per cent of the black money was to be made in a zero-interest bearing account for four years.