BENGALURU: The demonetisation move was not a sudden move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as steps in this direction were being taken right from the day the government assumed office, said Union Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu.
Delivering a talk on ‘A bold and revolutionary step to curb corruption and black money’ here on Friday, Naidu highlighted six major steps taken by the Prime Minister leading to the finale on November 8.
“In our first Cabinet meeting on May 27, 2014, the first item discussed was the constitution of a Special Investigation Team to unearth black money from foreign shores,” he said. The BJP constituted the committee under former Supreme Court judge Justice N B Shah.
The PM next introduced the Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015 that came into effect from July 1, 2015, he said. “It levied a 45 per cent penalty on undisclosed income.”
Thirdly, the Centre took steps towards signing an Information Exchange Agreement with the the government of Panama after the Panama paper leaks. “An agreement was also signed with the United States to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act,” Naidu said. The deal signed on July 9, 2015, will help the government get financial information of Indian residents who have made investments in the United States.
A Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement was signed by India with Mauritius and Cyprus to bring back amounts stashed in these countries. “Following negotiations in G-20 International forums, Switzerland was also roped in to exchange information,” he said.
The Income Declaration Scheme gave an opportunity to all to disclose their income. “It was an opportunity given by the government,” he said.
Referring to the dramatic announcement made, Naidu said, “Secrecy is the essence of the campaign.” If prior information had been given, all the black money would have gone, he said.
“Time was given from 2014 to 2016 (up to November 8) to convert the black money into white,” the minister stressed.
Even in a recent ‘Mann Ki Baat’ through All India Radio, the Prime Minister had stated that the situation in the country needs to be changed before September 30. Stressing that there was no advantage to anyone and there was no information leakage, Naidu said, “The PM was the only one who leaked the impending move through AIR openly.”