The finance ministry has sought opinions from legal experts on possible options that would help in chalking out an amnesty scheme similar to the Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme (VDIS) announced in Budget 1997-98 to retrieve a chunk of “dirty” money stashed away in tax havens. Estimates suggest that about $500 billion or Rs 24.5 lakh crore belonging to Indians is stashed away in various tax havens.
The government after receiving inputs from legal experts could look at framing an amnesty scheme.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is also preparing a report on the same and would submit an interim study within a couple of months. The accounting regulator is also looking at various issues pertaining to taxation including the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
“We are currently collecting data and we hope that an interim report would be ready soon, which we can send to the finance ministry,” Jaydeep N Shah, president, ICAI, told Hindustan Times.Estimates suggest arout Rs 70,000 crore loss to the exchequer in the last 10 years due to round-tripping and the DTAA.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee meanwhile told the Lok Sabha that the government would soon bring out a “White Paper” on black money.
The government has already signed DTAAs with several countries. A revised tax treaty with Switzerland, which is likely to help India in acquiring banking details with effect from April 1, 2011, has also come into force.