Wealth created illegally may be declared as national assets

anthony (Finance) (7918 Points)

30 May 2011  

To tackle the menace of black money head-on, a Government-appointed committee has been asked to look into the legality of declaring ill-gotten wealth as “national asset”. The committee will be headed by the CBDT Chairman, Mr Sudhir Chandra. It will suggest the enactment or amendment of laws to allow confiscation and/or recovery of illegal assets. It will also suggest exemplary penalties. The committee will consult all the stakeholders and submit its report within a period of six months. Besides the CBDT Chairman, the committee will comprise CBDT Member (Legislation & Computerisation), Director of the Enforcement Directorate, Director-General of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) Director General (currency), CBDT Joint Secretary (Foreign Tax & Tax Research) and Financial Intelligence Unit India (FIU-Ind) Joint Secretary. The CBDT's Commissioner of Income-Tax (investigation) would be the Member-Secretary of the committee, which will examine all existing legal and administrative framework to deal with the generation of black money through illegal means. The Government has been facing a sustained onslaught for having taken little action on black money holders within or outside the country. The chorus on the need to tackle black money was so loud that it disrupted Parliamentary proceedings during the Winter Session last year. In January, the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, spelt out a five-point strategy that the Government was adopting to address the issue of black money. He had also then announced the constitution of a multi-disciplinary committee to get studies conducted to estimate the quantum of illicit funds generated by Indian citizens. Three institutions – the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), National Institute of Finance Management (NIFM) and National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) were asked to conduct the studies. - www.thehindubusinessline.com