Action Taken by Government on Demands Raised by Baba Ramdev
Recovery of Black Money-
There is a legal framework regulated by the Reserve Bank of India for the opening of bank accounts overseas by Indian residents and for outward or inward remission of funds through authorized channels.
The existing legal framework for dealing with illicitly generated funds transferred overseas and measures for the attachment and repatriation of such illegal assets to India and provision for penalties for offenders are:
A. Under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), money laundered out of predicate scheduled offences can be attached and seized and individuals and other legal entities found to have indulged in money laundering can be prosecuted. PMLA provides for imprisonment of minimum of 3 years (which can be extended up to 7 years) and a fine of up to Rs.5 lakh and the tainted proceeds parked overseas can be recovered through Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties. India has such treaties with 26 countries.
B. Under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), cases relating to contravention in foreign exchange transactions by Indian residents can be adjudicated with penalty up to a maximum of 3 times the amount involved. Further, FEMA empowers the confiscation of the amounts lying abroad and directing their repatriation.
C. Under both statutes (FEMA and PMLA), investigation is taken up against specific persons, both natural and legal, and on the basis of specific information.
D. Section 105A of the Cr. PC provides for reciprocal arrangement and procedure for attachment and forfeiture of properties generated from the commission of an offence. Where such properties are situated overseas and treaty arrangements exist between Government of India and the other country, Letter Rogatories can be issued to a court / authority of the other country for execution of such an order.
E. Under the Income Tax Act also, income earned and not disclosed is taxable and also subject to penalty and interest, as well as prosecution. The amount recovered may even exceed the entire undisclosed income. This is in effect confiscation of such income / property.
Actions at hand
I. India has negotiated / renegotiated Double Tax Avoidance Agreements and finalized Tax Information Exchange Agreements with 44 countries so as to strengthen the exchange of information relating to tax evasion, money laundering and other criminal / illicit activities.
Collection of details regarding people who go frequently to ‘tax havens’.
Lok Pal Bill
A Joint Drafting Committee, consisting of Government and civil society representatives is already looking into the provisions of the Bill. Government is committed to the widest possible consultation on the Lok Pal Bill before its introduction in Parliament and subsequently until the passage of the Bill. As a first step, State Governments and political parties are being consulted. Further consultations with the public will follow.
Stronger punishment for the corrupt
Special Courts for dealing with corruption cases
Public Services Delivery Act
Technical Education in Indian Languages
Land Acquisition Act