Black money
Indian Money in Swiss banks sees a 20-year low. In Picture: A girl displays a 1000-rupee note.Reuters file

Mincing no words on the black money issue, finance minister Arun Jaitley articulated the non-compromising position being held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

The following measures were tabled on the floor of the Parliament:

  • Discussions with the Swiss authorities continue and the Narendra Modi government is committed to go after concealment of income and foreign asset ownership in violation of stated principles.
  • A new comprehensive law is to be tabled with proposals that extend to rigorous imprisonment of various durations for income concealment and holding of funds in offshore accounts illegally.
  • The law will also introduce non-compoundable imprisonment and non-settlement clauses, in its bid to persuade people to pay the rightful amount of tax.
  • Even in the case of non-filling of returns over foreign ownership of property and funds, a rigorous imprisonment of 7 years would become the punishment mechanism.
  • The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) will be amended.
  • Benami ownership risks confistication, especially in real estate.
  • The Finance Bill will also be amended to cover land ownership transactions.