New Delhi, Mar 3: Government today said it was not possible to provide a definite timeline on bringing back the black money stashed abroad.
"Sustained efforts made to obtain information about Indians having black money stashed abroad have already resulted in levy of taxes and penalty and launching of prosecution in appropriate cases.
"However, it is not possible to state by which date the black money would be brought back," Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
He was replying to a question on whether government has been successful in bringing back black money. The Minister said government has taken several initiatives to curb black money after Supreme Court's order to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in this regard.
India has joined global efforts to combat cross-border global tax evasion and tax fraud by way of a uniform global standard on automatic exchange of information on reciprocal basis to facilitate information regarding persons hiding their money in offshore financial centres and tax havens.
Among other measures, it has engaged with foreign governments for exchange of information and a high level delegation from Revenue Department visited Switzerland last year. With regard to study on black money, Sinha said reports from National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NEACER) and National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM) are under examination by the government.
"The reports are under examination...for formulation of government's response. The reports along with the government's response thereon are to be placed before the Standing Committee on Finance as action taken report on their directions in this regard," he said. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while presenting the Union Budget 2015-16 last week, had said the government proposed a 10-year imprisonment for hiding foreign assets.
He also outlined other steps including dis-incentivising cash dealings in real estate and other transactions to curb the menace of black money in the country.