New Delhi: Expressing opposition to the idea
of an amnesty scheme to unearth black money, senior BJP leader
and former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has said they do
not serve any purpose but act as a disincentive to honest
"I am against all amnesty schemes. If you look at the
history of amnesty schemes, ultimately they have failed,
including the last VDIS by (former Finance Minister)
Chidambaram...Only a handful of people take advantage of this
and it is a great disincentive for the honest taxpayers, for
the law abiding citizens," he said.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is understood
to be "seriously considering" recommending to the government a
scheme on the lines of the Voluntary Disclosure of Income
Scheme (VDIS) announced in 1996 to tap funds lying abroad for
productive use in India.
A similar scheme was also proposed earlier by an expert
group on black money to the government.
Sinha further said that the Congress-led UPA government
is not serious about dealing with the menace of black money.
"It appears they (UPA Government) are not very serious as
far as black money is concerned.
"Staring from 2001, after the terrorist attack on US,
there is little tolerance for tax havens and Swiss bank`s
secrecy laws. We should take full advantage of this and insist
that if national laws have been violated then the host
government of that country should share the details," he said.
Under attack from various quarters, the government signed
Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) with several
countries, especially tax havens, and is in the process of
revising the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) with
nations, including Switzerland and Mauritius.
Besides, the government has set up several committees to
estimate the quantum of black money and suggest administrative
and legislative measures to deal with the menace and bring
back illegal funds stashed abroad.