New Delhi, April 24: Bringing back to India black money stashed away abroad is a promise that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made and executing this job has been extremely challenging.
Not only are several persons making attempts to move their money to their foreign contacts on a daily basis, but the number of representations that the Finance Minister has been getting to water down the action is also quite startling.
While the Finance Minister, Arun Jaiteley, has rejected every recommendation that has been made to water down the action, the other worry is that there are desperate attempts being made to move the money to foreign contacts so that it does not come under the scanner of the Indian authorities.
Calls to Dubai:
Since the government and the Special Investigation Team (SIT) began its crackdown on black money, there have been a large number of calls that have been made to various parts of the world.
The highest number of calls intercepted by the Intelligence Bureau are to Dubai.
Many of them want to move their black money out of India and park with it in Dubai.
The contacts that they are choosing are non-Indians. These persons have not attempted to carry out a wire transfer but are using various other channels such as hawala to reach the money to countries such as Dubai.
While there is very little that these persons can do about the money that they have stashed away in the banks, they are still trying to safeguard the money that they hold in India.
They are aware that the Income Tax department is breathing down their necks and it has become increasingly difficult to hide the money any longer.
ED, CBI looking into money laundering:
The call intercepts, that the Intelligence Bureau has detailed, have been shared with both the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Both these agencies are probing into these cases and the ED in particular is tracking the money trail.
Sources say if the trail can be established, it would be easy to bring back the money that has left the country.
However, these persons are doing their best to dodge any trail and send it to their non-Indian friends through hawala channels with the hope that there is no trail left behind.
The MP lobby against black money action:
The Finance Ministry has been receiving representations galore requesting it to water down the proposals.
The decision to make a PAN card mandatory for all transactions of Rs 1 lakh and above is the one many are extremely worried about.
The other proposal that has been sought to be reversed is the one banning payment of Rs 20,000 for real estate deals.
This virtually puts a halt on black money transactions in real estate deals.
While several sectors have expressed concern the biggest problem being faced is by a section of the MPs who feel that the imprisonment clause is too heavy.
There is a strong lobby of MPs in the opposition parties who have been trying to pressurize the finance minister to drop the imprisonment clause of 10 years for non-disclosure of money.
The MPs who have been lobbying against the 10 year imprisonment clause argue that it could be used as a political tool.
Further they also say that there could be misuse of this stringent provision by the Income Tax department officials.
The Finance Ministry has, however, rejected all suggestions in this regard. The ministry is firm on the recommendations it has made and has conveyed it is serious about fighting this issue.