Days before a four-month window for declaring domestic black money opens, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the government would continue to prosecute those who are found to have stashed black money abroad.
The window opens on 1 June and would allow people to retain 55% of the undisclosed income. The remaining 45% would have to be paid to the government in the form of tax, surcharge and penalty. Those who volunteer under this scheme would, however, get immunity from prosecution under various laws.
At a grand event to celebrate the government’s two years in power, Jaitley also promised to prosecute people named in the Panama papers who were found to have illegally stashed black money abroad.
Jaitley said the law to deal with undisclosed income kept in foreign banks had yielded about Rs 4,000 crore and the government had now turned its focus on domestic black money.
The finance minister asserted that India could achieve 8-9% per cent growth rate in a fast-growing world but would find it difficult to reach this target in a slow-paced world economy. “... If monsoon is good this year, then rural economy will get boost and overall India’s economy will benefit,” Jaitley said, conceding that the challenge was to crank rural demand.
“First time, India has emerged as the fastest-growing major economy in the world. We are growing at 7.5%. Compared to other countries we are growing at a faster rate, (but) it is still below our expectation,” the minister added.