Demonetisation carried pain, admits Arun Jaitley

The prime minister’s decision is intended to create a new “normal”. It seeks to change the expenditure pattern of India and Indians. It is obviously disruptive

GN Bureau | January 9, 2017


#Demonetisation   #Black Money   #RBI   #Narendra Modi   #Arun Jaitley  


The implementation of the demonetisation decision carried pain. “It can lead to short term criticism and inconveniences. Drop in economic activity on account of the currency squeeze during the remonetisation period would have a transient impact on the economy,” wrote finance minister Arun Jaitley in a Facebook blog.

“The decision involves high level of secrecy and printing substantial amounts of paper currency, distribution through banks, post offices, banking mitras and ATMs.”

It said that the prime minister’s decision is intended to create a new “normal”. It seeks to change the expenditure pattern of India and Indians. It is obviously disruptive. All reforms are disruptive. They change the retrograde status quo. The demonetisation puts a premium on honesty and penalises dishonest conduct.

Read: Recession is likely: Prof Arun Kumar on demonetisation

The blog “Demonetisation – A look back at the last two months” said that when 86% of a country’s currency constituting 12.2% of its GDP, is squeezed out of the market and sought to be replaced by a new currency, there would obviously be significant consequences of that decision.

He wrote on Sunday that the Narendra Modi government had absolute clarity from day one that it would move against the shadow economy and black money. It’s first decision was to constitute SIT under the directions of the Supreme Court. The Prime Minister had proposed to the G-20 at Brisbane that international cooperation in sharing information with regard to base erosion and profit shifting should be expedited.

The black money law dealing with illegal assets outside India opened a window for disclosure with 60% tax and provides a ten year imprisonment.

The Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) 2016 was highly successful with a 45% tax. The PAN card requirement for cash transaction beyond rupees two lakhs put hurdles on expenditure through black money. The Benami law legislated in 1988 and never implemented. It was amended and has been put into action. The GST, which is scheduled to be implemented this year, will provide for better indirect tax administration and being a more efficient law will check tax evasion. The demonetisation of high denominational currency notes was the big step in the same direction.

Read: Demonetisation will not have a big bang impact: Experts


Jaitley went on to write that in the year 2015-16, 3.7 crore assesses of the total population of over 125 crores, filed income tax returns. Out of these, 99 lakhs declared income below Rs.2.5 lakhs and paid no taxes; 1.95 crores declared income less than Rs.5 lakhs; 52 lakhs declared income between Rs.5 to10 lakhs, and only 24 lakhs declared income above Rs.10 lakhs. No better evidence is required to substantiate that both in the matter of direct and indirect taxes India continues to suffer being a hugely tax non-compliant society.

“Expenditure required for poverty eradication, national security and economic development have to be compromised with on account of tax non-compliances. For seven decades the Indian “normal” has been to undertake transactions partly in cash and partly in cheque. “Pucca” and “Kachha” accounts are a part of the business language. Tax evasion has been considered as neither unethical nor immoral. It was just a way of life. Several governments have allowed this “normal” to continue even though this compromised with larger public interest.”

The finance minister also wrote that the fact that large quantum of high denominational currency has been deposited with the banks does not render this money to be legitimate cash. Black money does not change its colour merely because it is deposited in bank. On the contrary, it loses its anonymity and can now be identified with its owner. The Revenue Department would thus be entitled to tax this money. In any case, the amendment to the Income Tax Act itself provides that the said money, if voluntarily declared or if involuntarily detected, would be liable for differential and high rates of taxation and penalty.


Read the full blog here 


 

Comments

 

Other News

Oil minister meets Odisha CM over IOCL impasse

 In order to resolve a tax-dispute between Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and government of Odisha, a meeting was held between minister of state (I/C) for petroleum & natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik in New Delhi. During the meeting, Pradhan

Product differentiation is key to beat competition: SAIL chief

 Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) chairman, PK Singh, during his recent visit to SAIL’s Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), laid emphasis on product differentiation and said the enterprise has to match the best in quality, variety and standards. “In the present circumstances, only th

BHEL secures orders from Chile and Estonia

 Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has added another feather to its cap by securing export orders from Chile and Estonia. This has helped BHEL to expand and consolidate its footprint in the international market. With maiden orders for transformer bushing from Niquel Electric Ltd, Chile

The different electoral systems across the world

India uses a mix of two systems in elections. The first-past-the-post system is used in the elections to the Lok Sabha as well as the state assemblies, while proportional representation is used during Rajya Sabha and presidential polls.   Now, an all-party Parliamentary panel

Big pharma, IP wars and profit over people

Martin Shkreli, a former hedge fund manager who is infamous for overnight spiking up the price of a lifesaving drug by 5,000 percent, was convicted on three counts of fraud in an American federal court on August 4. Shkreli is now staring at an incarceration period of up to 25 years. The order cheered up

CAG spots irregularities in ‘Zero Tax Companies’

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has noticed irregularities in the way the income tax department (ITD) carried out the assessment of Zero Tax Companies.   Several companies that were having large profit from business and distributing substantial portion of the income



Video

Merger completed for AIADMK, EPS-OPS shakes hand

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter