Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked taxmen to take necessary steps against all those who are in possession of benami properties and focus on broadening the tax net.
In a review meeting with officials of the tax department on Tuesday, the Prime Minister, sources said, also underlined the need to reduce human interface and adopt measures that do not lead to harassment.
The NDA government decided to scrap currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 on November 8 to weed out unaccounted cash, which led to a huge shortage of cash. The government also came under severe criticism from the opposition parties that claimed that a large chunk of black money was in the form of benami properties.
“It was a good meeting and presentations were made on the actions taken after demonetisation to address the issue of black money..the meeting was to take stock of the situation and review the overall functioning of the department,” said a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified.
The government, which launched the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana — the second and a more stringent income disclosure scheme — has got tepid response with only about 24,000 declarations coming in this time against around 65,000 in the earlier scheme.
“There has also been some cause for concern due to this and this was also reviewed,” the official said.
Last month, the income tax department unveiled a one-page income tax return form which includes a separate section for cash deposits of Rs 2 lakh and more between November 9 and December 30.
The income tax department, which already has exhaustive information on deposits made by citizens between November 9 and December 30, 2016, would also check the amount of money deposited by their spouses and other members of the family.
Modi also took stock of the preparedness for the implementation of the nationwide goods and services tax.