In his Goa speech just a few days after currency of denominations Rs 500 and Rs 1000 were demonetized, PM Narendra Modi said that the next step in the war on corruption and unaccounted wealth will be on “benaami properties” – the properties that are bought on the name of someone else in order to escape tax and investigation agencies. Now, it seems the government is in no mood to sit back and give chance to those holding such properties. The government has issued orders to attach 658 benaami properties across India worth Rs 18,866 crore under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, , Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said, “The Government of India has taken a number of initiatives, including effective law enforcement to curb the menace of money laundering in the country. As of October 31, 2016, 658 provisional attachment orders have been issued by attaching properties worth Rs 18,866 crore. Further, 283 prosecution complaints have been filed for the offence of money laundering (under Prevention of Money Laundering Act).”
Under the Black Money (undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act 2015, a total of 648 declarations involving undisclosed foreign assets were made. These declarations were worth Rs 4,164 crore and the amount collected by way of tax and penalty in such cases was about Rs 2,476 crore. Increasing up the vigil and investigations, the Income Tax department has conducted searches on 1,242 people, seizing undisclosed assets worth Rs 2,029 crore in last 2 years. Overall, the people who were raided admitted undisclosed income of Rs 28,567 crore.