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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Rs 3,770 Crore Surface In Black Money Drive. Half Score, But Not Bad!

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream run has been cut short literally by half!

Of the Rs 6,500 crore of untaxed or black money that he had promised to collect, the government has received around Rs 3,770 crore. This untaxed or black money has emerged in a three-month window for defaulters to come clean, which ended yesterday, the government today said.

The black money declared is far less than what Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced during his Independence Day speech in August. “We have given some grace period for declaring undisclosed income and today I can say that people have come forward and declared income amounting to Rs. 6,500 crore,” he had said.

Government sources explained the gap saying PM Modi had meant that the government had information on Rs 6,500 crores.

“Now we will start taking action against those who have not declared their assets,” said Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia.

The government said 638 people have declared money parked illegally in foreign accounts, and the declarations continued till midnight yesterday.

Those who have declared their illegal wealth can escape prosecution or jail by paying tax and penalties of around 60 per cent. After yesterday’s deadline, the tax and penalty doubles to 120 per cent and the defaulter can face up to 10 years in jail.

The government had hoped that enabling people to declare their illegal wealth and pay a softer penalty would help recover crores in black money – a major promise of PM Modi’s election campaign last year. Modi had said that Rs 15 lakh could be given to every citizen if illegal wealth was brought back from foreign accounts, a claim that has been repeatedly panned by the Congress, which lost power last year.

“The hollowness of PM Modi’s claims has been exposed before the country. He said within 100 days, the government would bring back crores in black money. It’s a shame,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

India has worked with countries including Switzerland to obtain information about unaccounted money, believed to run into 18 lakh crore.

The 90-day compliance window is a part of a new Black Money law that also sets up a team of regulators and ex-judges to identify those who have secret accounts abroad.

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