Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) new president R.V. Kanoria on Thursday suggested amnesty scheme for bringing back black money stashed abroad, stating there should be “protection and anonymity.”

“Ultimately this problem has to be addressed...whosoever wishes to bring it back, (would) like to do so with protection and anonymity,” Mr. Kanoria said at a press conference.

He said: “if this money comes back with reasonable penalties and channelised into our priority needs of development, it is good for the country.”

Mr. Kanoria said there were historical reasons for Indians to take the money abroad as the rates of taxation were as high as 97.75 per cent.

“There was actually a disincentive to earn and keep money and lot of it went out and that got compounded over time because of exchange rate and multiplication of money outside,” he added.

As the government is under pressure from the opposition parties, civil society and courts to bring back the black money, amnesty scheme is being talked about as one of the solutions.

However, there is a strong opposition in certain sections which argue that such schemes amount to dis-incentivising the honest tax-payers.

Mr. Kanoria also touched upon other burning economic issues like delay in reforms in areas like proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Direct Tax Code (DTC).

He said while the chamber would make efforts to convince the state governments about the advantages of the GST, “it is the hard bargaining which the Centre has to do with the states”.

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