In the latest attempt to combat black money, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Supreme Court has recommended to the government a ban on cash transactions of more than ₹3 lakh, and limit individual and company cash holdings at ₹15 lakh.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Justice M B Shah (retd), recommended the ban in an attempt to curb unaccounted wealth in the economy which it believed is largely stashed away in cash. The team submitted its fifth report to the Supreme Court on methods to curb black money in the economy. The government will now review the recommendations.
The panel noted that the vast amounts of unaccounted wealth is stored and used in form of cash. SIT recommended the ban on cash, stating “an Act be framed to declare such transactions as illegal and punishable under law.”
“Having considered the provisions which exist in this regard in various countries and also having considered various reports and observations of courts regarding cash transactions the SIT felt that there is a need to put an upper limit to cash transactions,” an official statement said.
Individuals or industry will have to obtain necessary permissions from the Commissioner of Income Tax in their area, should they require to keep cash exceeding that amount, the panel has recommended.
It also noted that cash transactions can only be restricted when there is a cap in place on cash holdings as well.
The government has also said it will start imposing capital gains tax on investments coming from Mauritius starting next year in an attempt to stop “round tripping” or the return to India of wealth that has not been accounted for by routing it through countries that provide easy channeling of funds without too many questions.
So far, the government has implemented other recommendations by the panel including offering a four-month compliance window for black money by September, and assuring citizens that they won’t be harassed or prosecuted if they disclose their illegal wealth.