Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that there was no plan to impose tax on farmers for their produce or on women for their jewellery. Addressing a rally here as part of the BJP’s ongoing parivartan yatra here yesterday, Prasad said the country was moving towards a cashless economy under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose demonetization move had made the rich bow to poor for the first time in the country.
“Income tax wouldn’t be imposed on farmers, neither is there any plan to impose tax on jewellery. All sorts of rumours are being spread to mislead people. But they should pay no attention to the rumours,” the Union Law and IT Minister said. “We are moving towards a cashless economy under the leadership of Modi and demonetisation is a step in that direction,” he said.
Addressing the crowds, Prasad appealed to the public to maintain their patience and trust the government and not be influenced by any rumours. He said that no new taxes would be implemented on farmers and no new laws or taxes will be framed in relation to gold.
Prasad clarified that the step towards demonetization was taken to make the Indian currency stronger and to eliminate black money from the market. He said that the general public was supporting the decision and it was only the opposition which had a problem with it. Even leaders across the globe have praised the move, he said.
Prasad accused the opposition of diminishing the morale of the Army. He said that while the families of the soldiers who died were happily willing to send their children in the Army, it was the opposition which was interfering with the Army.
Prasad said that in the past two-and-half-years of the party rule, no minister has been accused of any corrupt practices while this was a trend during the Congress regime. Those who were present at the meeting included Bhagat Singh Koshyari, MP, Balraj Passi, coordinator Parivartan Rally and Ajay Bhatt, State BJP President.
Meanwhile, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia on Tuesday said it is wrong to assume that black money that has come into the banking system following the demonetisation will become white and unless tax is paid on such amount it will continue to be remain black.
He also said the Brics nations have pledged to automatically share tax information and adopt global standards on tax transparency to check cross border tax evasion. “Do you think that by simply depositing the money in a bank account makes black money into white? It doesn’t. Merely, black money has come into banking channel, you can’t tell that the entire black money has been converted into white.
“It will become white when we charge taxes, when the income tax department is able to reach to them and issue them a notice,” Adhia told reporters on the sidelines of the two- day meeting of the Brics revenue heads here. The two-day meeting of the revenue heads of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) have also resolved to support other developing nations in increasing their tax administrations’ capacity to implement the OECD/G20 standard on automatic exchange of information, Adhia said.
“We recognise the importance of the exchange of information between competent authorities in preventing cross-border tax evasion and we resolve to exchange information, both on request and on automatic basis, and to adopt global standards on tax transparency,” he said.
Adhia said unless 50 per cent is paid on the unaccounted money which has come in to the banking system for the PM’s Graib Kalyan Yojana, it will remain black money.
He said the people who are depositing black money into Jan Dhan accounts of others will be caught and be dealt according to the law. When asked whether the government will ask for the source of money up to the permissible limit of Rs 2.50 lakh in every account, Adhia said it will happen only in the cases where some misuse has taken place.
“In genuine cases, there will not be any scrutiny but if there is some misuse then an inquiry will be there. For instance, if somebody has deposited 2.5 lakh in 15 accounts then we will check with those 15 account holders and trace the money,” he said. Adhia said the government will also take strict action against those bank officials and income tax officials who are helping people in laundering.
He reiterated that the government has no plans to cap gold holding by an individual and also sealing of bank lockers. “Lot of rumors are spreading on the social media. There is a rumour that all safe deposit vaults will be sealed and then government will confiscate the money. These are all rumours. Even there are some rumors about putting a limit on gold holding but this is also baseless,” Adhia said.