The Modi government has unearthed more than Rs 1.64 lakh crore of black money in the first three years of its tenure. This has come from the assessment made by the Kulhar team on the basis of the RTI replies and the answers given to the Lok Sabha by the Finance Ministry.
Let’s begin from July 1, 2016, when Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that the Income Tax department had unearthed Rs 43,000 crore worth undisclosed income between 2014 and 2016; Rs 21,000 from department’s raids/searches and the balance of Rs 22,000 crore from various surveys.
For starters, the Income Tax department conventionally digs out black money in the form of searches (also called as raids) and surveys (like raids but less severe, procedurally).
We corroborated Adhia’s statements by filing an RTI application with the revenue department of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and also sought details for the third year. In response, the department informed that it had found over Rs 15,000 crore of undisclosed income through raids and detected more than Rs 13,000 crore in surveys during fiscal 2016-17.
The 3 years’ total, hence, stands at Rs 73,000 crore of black money, which is an increase of 43 percent over Rs 51,000 crore discovered during the first three years of the UPA-II government.
But this is not all. It is the series of new steps taken by the incumbent government that have produced some impressive results. For example, the one-time compliance window opened between July and September in 2015 has led to 648 declarations of undisclosed foreign assets worth Rs 4164 crore.
Similarly, a four months’ Income Disclosure Scheme was launched by the government from June to September in 2016. Under this scheme, 71,726 disclosures were filed declaring Rs 67,382 crore worth of undisclosed income in the form of cash and other assets.
Further, in reply to a question asked in the Lok Sabha today, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stated that the ministry had received information from France on 628 Indians holding Swiss bank accounts under Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC). Following the “systematic investigations”, Rs 8437 crore of undisclosed income has been brought to tax till May 2017.
The government has also detected over Rs 11,000 crore after investigating into information, given by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), on 700 Indians allegedly linked to offshore entities based on no tax or low tax jurisdictions.
Besides, the government has set up a committee to investigate the cases of people who were named in the recent Panama Papers Leaks. While no money has been recovered from these cases so far, criminal prosecution complaints have been filed in three cases and more than 250 requests have been sent to foreign nations in this regard.
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