India propose new tax evasion amnesty

Arun Jaitley

Arun JaitleyIndian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley released plans for new tax evasion amnesty, which aims to unearth the unaccounted cash. According to the plans, the citizens who declare assets until the income to pay 50% taxes and surcharges, as well as to bring 25% of the total amount of interest-free account for a period of 4 years. Those who do not declare their income, but are caught by the tax authorities will lose 85% of the amounts warned the authorities.

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expects the scheme to discourage tax evaders from laundering their ill-gotten wealth, experts said there was no better alternative to sweeping tax reforms. The program was announced nearly a month after a similar campaign was able to enlighten the undeclared income and assets worth 9.5 billion USD.

In the first week after India’s so-called “demonetization” drive, banks received 74.2 billion USD in fresh deposits. Analysts at HSBC expect the deposits to swell by 164 billion USD by end-December. The surge in deposits, particularly in previously empty accounts, has alarmed tax authorities who fear poor account holders are being lured into laundering money on behalf of big-time tax evaders.

Thousands of people protested on Monday throughout the country against the unexpected decision of the government to dispose of banknotes with the largest nominal value, which was announced on November 8. The opposition called for a “day of anger” but the response was uneven and protest actions have affected everyday life only in the states governed by the opposition.

In Delhi, opposition parties held separate demonstrations after failing to overcome political differences and organize a single protest.

In the southern state of Kerala, which manages the Communist Party, buses and cars are not moving, closed companies and schools.

more recommended stories