The High Level Committee appointed for tracing black money stashed away abroad and unearthing such ill-gotten wealth in the country, on Thursday decided to seek public comments on the issue.

The committee, headed by Central Board of Direct Taxes chairman Prakash Chandra, held its first meeting and discussed laws that need to be amended to tackle the menace. It was set up by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee last month to examine ways to strengthen laws to curb the generation of black money in India, its illegal transfer abroad and its recovery.

The meeting comes close on the heels of the renewed onslaught by civil society groups and the Opposition against the government for not doing enough to deal with the menace. The committee, consisting of senior officials from the CBDT, Enforcement Directorate, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Currency Unit and financial intelligence department, is expected to submit its report in six months.

On Wednesday the government set up another panel to suggest ways to trace tax defaulters, reveal their identity to the public, and recover taxes.

The panel on black money will suggest modalities for utilisation of the information available with the Financial Intelligence Unit -India (FIU-IND) and the Directorate of Income Tax (Systems) with a view to recovering outstanding demands.

Besides, the government announced a five-pronged strategy to deal with the menace of black money, including setting up of a Directorate of Criminal Investigation to deal with tax-related crimes.

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