Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, once again confirming the current government’s commitment of fighting with black money, launched the ‘Clean Money’ website on Tuesday. The portal has been launched to ensure tax-compliance and the media was told that the portal www.cleanmoney.gov.in will ensure a tax-friendly environment. The Tax-compliant citizens will be comforted by the new portal.
“It is no longer safe to deal with excessive cash,” said Jaitley.
The Finance Minister spoke about the effects of demonetisation as in curbing the flow of black money and said that to trace the origin of the anonymous cash and identify the irregularities, the increasing level of digitalization has a great role to play. To identify such violations was not possible earlier as cash transactions were unbridled.
He spoke about the CBI raids conducted earlier in the day on May 16th and said, “The day of reckoning has come for many”. Earlier in the day, the CBI had raided former Finance Minister, P Chidambaram’s son, Karti Chidambaram’s residence in Chennai. The CBI has charged him with the case of criminal misconduct.
The Finance Minister informed the media that there has been a major hike in personal income tax which is a good sign as taxes are used for public services. Tax money is a way to help the underprivileged. The number of income tax assessee too has gone up. He also added that the economy has witnessed a 22% growth in e-filled returns post demonetisation. “Technology is a great enabler”, he commented.
Sushil Chandra, the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes made following observations:
- About 3 lakh new PAN cards have been issued since November 8, 2016 when the Prime Minister announced the move to wipe out old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
- The Income Tax department has identified 1 lakh suspected cases of tax avoidance.
- The Income Tax department has identified 17.92 lakh people for unexplained deposits.
- The Income Tax department has identified undisclosed income of Rs 16,398 crores.
- The Income Tax department has added 91 lakh new taxpayers, post-demonetisation.
He stated, “Of the 17.92 lakh, so far 9.72 lakh individuals responded to SMSes and e-mails sent by the income tax department.”
He also said that the I-T Department has identified close to 1 lakh cases with high evasion risk and 7.4 lakh medium risk people. The government expects voluntary compliance from medium risk tax evaders. However he added that for high risk evaders, they will resort to enforcement and scrutiny.
Elaborating upon the facilities the new portal will provide, the FM said that it will contain information about user guides, frequently asked questions and training toolkits related to verification process. He said that now detection of tax evasion has become easy and the people indulging in tax evasion can no longer sit back and relax.
Anyhow, it’s the results that will tell whether “Operation Clean Money”, is a programme which will bring illegal wealth on books or it’s Just Another Programme!