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Union Budget 2015-16: FM Jaitley may announce policy plans to combat black money menace

PTI     February 23, 2015

Finance minister Arun Jaitley is likely to announce policy initiatives on some of the key recommendations made by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money to combat the menace of illicit funds, stashed within the country and overseas, when he presents the Budget on February 28.

While the SIT has suggested over a dozen measures to the government to check "black economy" in the country, some special recommendations and requirements have been raised by various financial investigation agencies which they feel will arm them to effectively deal with the problem.

Experts and officials said SIT's demand to firm up official protocols vis-a-vis sharing of information between various law enforcement agencies and making amendments in anti-money laundering laws and Income Tax Act could be considered for action in the Budget.

"Investigative agencies under various ministries have made presentations before the finance ministry with regard to the challenges they face when implementing anti-tax evasion laws or those used to counter such crimes. Some of these are expected to be taken up in the Budget," sources privy to the development said.

They said the Permanent Account Number (PAN), issued by the Income Tax department, could be put for more "utilisation" for the probe agencies. This is a key recommendation made by the SIT in its report submitted to the Supreme Court and government last year in December.

An important measure suggested by the SIT and other agencies of making tax evasion a "crime" in the country could also be dealt with in the Budget.

"It could be done in a way that beyond a certain limit of say Rs 50 lakh tax evasion, as the SIT suggested, prosecution could be mandatorily initiated under the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961," the sources said.

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