Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday held a meeting with industry leaders and chambers of commerce regarding the Income Declaration Scheme where he sought to assuage these concerns.“The compliance window is open for people with undisclosed income to legitimise it by paying 45 per cent tax between June 1 to September 30,” Mr Jaitley told reporters following the meeting. “Any declaration made under this law (the Income Declaration Scheme 2016) is protected, (and) that information won’t be shared with any other authority.”
This comes a couple of days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke about the Income Declaration Scheme in his Mann Ki Baat radio address.
“To the people who have undisclosed income, the Government of India has given a chance to declare such income,” Mr Modi had said. “The government has presented before the country a special facility to disclose undisclosed income by September 30.”
No questions asked “I have also promised that for those who voluntarily declare to the government their assets and their undisclosed income, the government will not conduct any kind of enquiry,” the Prime Minister added. “Not once will it be asked as to from where all this wealth came and how it was acquired.”
The Income Declaration Scheme was announced by Mr. Jaitley in his most recent Budget speech, when he said that those who come forward with their undeclared income will have to pay a tax and penalty, totally amounting to a rate of 45 per cent.
“The Finance Ministry is extremely co-operative in terms of issuing clarifications and has promised another set of FAQs to address some of the concerns expressed in the meeting, most importantly relating to confidentiality, valuation and immunity under other Acts like Companies Act, Excise Act, Service Tax Laws, etc,” the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.
Our Mumbai bureau adds: Veteran industrialist Rahul Bajaj, speaking at the 108th AGM of the Indian Merchants Chamber, said it would not be possible to bring back billions of dollars of black money from outside the country.
“The kinds of promises made before the elections were wrong. They cannot be achieved. You cannot get billions of dollars, there are none,” he said.
According to him, “What happened at NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group)? The Swiss President said they supported India, but what happened at Seoul? They backed out. Every country has its own regulations and you cannot force Switzerland to do what you want.”