Skip to main content

Narendra Modi signals use of Aadhaar to track benami properties

Narendra Modi signals use of Aadhaar to track benami properties
Implicitly, PM Naredra Modi suggested that the govt may not just insist on linking Aadhaar with the registration of new properties but that even existing properties will have to be re-registered
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday warned tax evaders that the government will broaden the scope of Aadhaar, the 12-digit unique identification number, to crack down on benami properties.
“Aadhaar will now be used against benami properties and this will become a big weapon for the government,” Modi said at the 15th HT Leadership Summit.
Implicitly, the prime minister suggested that the government may not just insist on linking Aadhaar with the registration of new properties but that even existing properties will have to be re-registered. If implemented, it can be a potentially disruptive move.
Benami properties are assets held in the name of another person or under a fictitious name to avoid taxation and conceal unaccounted-for, untaxed wealth.
Modi reiterated his government’s commitment to fighting corruption regardless of the political fallout. “I know I will have to pay a political price for the steps I have taken. I am ready for it,” he said.
Last year, the government amended the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988, to curb benami transactions. Since its notification in November last year, the income-tax department has attached 475 properties worth over Rs1,600 crore.According to the prime minister, the Union government has, over the last three years, initiated irreversible reforms which are fundamentally transforming India.
He said the government had helped create self-belief among people, which is serving as the foundation for a “new India”; the 2014 mandate, he said, was not just for regime change, it was for systemic change.Modi admitted that when National Democratic Alliance came to power three years ago, there was a perception that the existing system was not doing justice to the people.
“In every corner of the country, people are fighting with the system. It is my effort and commitment to stop this fight with the system for small things like gas, booking of railway tickets, electricity, passport, income-tax returns. How long will the people of this country continue to face these problems?” the prime minister asked.

Defending the decision to invalidate Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes last year, Modi said the government has acquired a lot of useful data from the exercise. “The data that the government has got post demonetization and consequent deposits in banks is a gold mine.
Through data mining, the government found that 400-500 companies were functioning only on one address. And one company had thousands of accounts,” he said, adding that the government had revoked the registration of these companies and barred their directors from becoming directors in other firms.He added that the goods and services tax had ushered in a new era of transparency.
“The government has to deliver on the promise of anti-corruption and black money. Also, anti-corruption is a topic which will help the government win the hearts and minds of people,” said Abhay Kumar Dubey, a Delhi-based political analyst associated with the Centre for Study of Developing Societies.
The Mint, New Delhi, 1st November 2017

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

RBI minutes show MPC members flagged upside risks to inflation

RBI minutes show MPC members flagged upside risks to inflation Concerns about economic growth and easing inflation prompted five of the six monetary policy committee (MPC) members to call for a cut in the repo rate, but most warned that prices could start accelerating, show the minutes of the panel’s last meeting, released on Wednesday. The comments reflected a tone of caution and flagged upside risks to inflation from farm loan waivers, rise in food prices, especially vegetables, price revisions withheld ahead of the goods and services tax, implementation of house rent allowance under the 7th pay commission and fading of favourable base effect, among others. On 2 August, the panel chose to cut the repurchase rate—the rate at which the central bank infuses liquidity in the banking system—by 25 basis points to 6%. One basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point. Pami Dua, professor at the Delhi School of Economics, wrote that her analysis showed “a fading economic growth outlook, as …

Shrinking footprints of foreign banks in India

Shrinking footprints of foreign banks in India Foreign banks are increasingly shrinking their presence in India and are also becoming more conservative than private and public sector counterparts. While many of them have sold some of their businesses in India as part of their global strategy, some are trying to keep their core expertise intact. Others are branching out to newer areas to continue business momentum.For example, HSBC and Barclays Bank in India have got out of the retail business, whereas corporate-focused Standard Chartered Bank is now trying to increase its focus on retail “Building a retail franchise is a huge exercise and takes a long time. You cannot afford to lose it,” said Shashank Joshi, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ’s India head.According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, foreign banks’ combined loan book shrunk nearly 10 per cent from Rs 3.78 trillion in fiscal 2015-16 to Rs 3.42 trillion last financial year. The banking industry, which includes foreign banks…

Differential Tax Levy under GST: Food Firms May De-Register Trademarks

Differential Tax Levy under GST:Food Firms May De-Register Trademarks The government’s decision to charge an enhanced tax rate on trademark food brands is leading several rice, wheat and cereal manufacturers to consider de-registering their product trademarks. Irked by the June 28 central government notification fixing a 5 per cent goods and services tax (GST) rate on food items packaged in unit containers and bearing registered brand names, the industry has made several representations to the government to reconsider the differential tax levy, which these players say is creating an unlevel playing field within these highly-competitive and low-margin industries. Sources say that the move has affected the packaged rice industry the hardest and allowed the un-registered market leaders, India Gate and Daawat, to gain advantage as compared to other registered brands such as Kohinoor and Lal Qilla. Smaller players are even more worried with this enhanced rate of tax (against the otherwise …