Ques. Critically describe the measures under taken by the government to curb the menace of black money in the country.
The Government has taken effective measures to curb the menace of black money. Such measures includes:
(i) introduction of a comprehensive new law in the ongoing Budget Session 2015, specifically to deal with black money stashed abroad – The Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015 – inter alia, providing for stringent penalties (equal to three times the amount of tax payable) and prosecutions (rigorous imprisonment upto ten years with fine) in this regard;
(ii) constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in May 2014, Chaired and Vice-Chaired by two former judges of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, inter alia, to deal with issues relating to black money stashed abroad;
(iii) while focusing upon non-intrusive measures, due emphasis on enforcement measures in high impact cases with a view to prosecute the offenders at the earliest possible for credible deterrence against tax evasion;
(iv) strengthening and streamlining the information collection and enforcement mechanism, inter alia, through extensive use of information technology, capacity building etc:
(v) joining the global efforts to combat cross-border tax evasion and tax fraud and to promote international tax compliance, including supporting the implementation of a uniform global standard on Automatic Exchange of Information on a fully reciprocal basis facilitating exchange of information regarding persons hiding their money in offshore financial centres and tax havens;
(vi) renegotiation of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements with other countries to bring the Article on Exchange of Information to International Standards and expanding India’s treaty network by signing new DTAAs and Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) with many tax jurisdictions to facilitate the exchange of information and to bring transparency;
(vii) Proactively engaging with foreign governments for exchange of information under the provisions of DTAAs/TIEAs/Multilateral Convention;
(viii) exploring non-government sources to obtain information regarding undisclosed foreign assets;
(ix) effectively utilizing the information received from treaty partners to combat tax evasion and avoidance.