27 October, 2020

Welcome Disclosures

As money from VDISstarts flowing in, misgivings about the scheme give way to admiration

Welcome Disclosures

WHEN Finance Minister P. Chidambaram announced his second budget on February 28, the cynics had a good laugh: to balance the fiscal deficit,Chidambaram had announced a disclosure scheme, where black money would be converted into white at a flat tax rate of 30 per cent. Today, barely seven weeks before the scheme closes on December 31, Chidambaram and his revenue department are having the last laugh: the scheme actually seems to be working.

Informally, the targeted amount was put at Rs 15,000 crore; that translates into a tax collection of Rs 4,500 crore. According to finance ministry mandarins, this figure is well on its way into government coffers. Approximately a third of the expected fig-ure—about Rs 1,500 crore—has already been collected. And as the scheme enters its last few weeks, the volume is expected to rise exponentially.

To counter the fear of victimisation, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)—the apex body monitoring direct tax collections in the country—recently wrote to all state governments urging...



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