New Delhi: Fast-track courts to expeditiously deal with financial offences and deterrent punishment for offenders and promotion of banking channels for transactions were among the measures proposed Monday in a multi-pronged strategy unveiled by government to curb black money menace.
The much-awaited 97-page White Paper on black money tabled by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Lok Sabha, however, did did not mention any names or provide an estimate of such funds within and outside the country.
Improving the reporting and monitoring systems to track Bullion and Jewellery transactions and simple reporting systems in real estate deals to facilitate the development of a nationwide database were also urgently proposed in reducing flow of black money.
Coming out with strategies under "four different pillars", the document said the introduction of the proposed Goods and Services Tax(GST) would be a "major step" in integrating the efforts of different agencies dealing with black money.
The White Paper also made a case for preventing misuse of "off market" and "dabba trading"(trading outside recognised stock exchanges) on equities and commodities market through further amendments in Income Tax laws.
Noting that the Income Tax Act has made it mandatory to obtain PAN or Form-60/Form-61 for purchase of bullion above Rs five lakh, the document said there is a need to "catch" all transactions and the best bet would be the proposed GST Act.
" ...There could be promotion of banking channels including use of credit and debit cards since they leave adequate audit trails and hence disincentivise black money generation.
With electronic transfer facilities being available to trade, one can forsee this as one of major thrusts towards strengthening accountabiliy and discouraging unaccounted acativities," it said. There could be tax incentives for such transactions, the Paper said.
The White Paper quoted various estimates of other agencies on the issue of quantum of black money abroad.
It made a reference provided to data provided by Swiss National Bank which said the "bank deposits of Indians in Swiss banks have decreased from Rs 23,373 crore in the year 2006 to Rs 9,295 crore in the year 2010."
First Published: Monday, May 21, 2012, 21:35