From an early setting of the lokpal and lokayuktas to crack down on benami transactions, encouragement of credit cards to a compliance scheme for bringing back slush funds stashed abroad, a government panel has proposed a wide range of measures to combat black money in report that was released in the backdrop of a series of anti-corruption protests.
“Institutions of lokpal and lokayukta may be put in place at the earliest, in the Centre and states, to expedite investigations into cases of corruption and bring the guilty to justice,” the committee said.
The committee, set up in May last year to suggest measures to curb black money, has recommended strengthening of laws that include increasing the maximum jail term from seven to 10 years for government officials found guilty of corruption.
“One of the ways to get assets/ money held abroad into the national mainstream is through a compliance scheme,” said the report of a committee headed by the central board of direct taxes (CBDT) chairman.
The recommendation will likely rekindle the rebate whether the government was planning to offer a fresh immunity scheme to tax offenders.
The last such offer — Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme (VDIS) — was introduced in the 1997-98 budget.
The report has recommended the immediate setting up of a national tax tribunal mandated with sweeping judicial powers to clamp down on illegal transactions. The proposal has been pending since two decades due to differences between finance and law ministries.