New Delhi: To signal his commitment to his crackdown on tax evasion and corruption, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered all his party's lawmakers to submit details of their bank records from November 8, when he announced a ban on high-denomination notes - to December 31, which is the deadline for submitting the outlawed notes.
- PM announced notes ban on November 8 to check black money
- All BJP legislators to disclose bank transactions since then
- Records to be submitted to BJP president Amit Shah
All parliamentarians and state legislators from the ruling BJP will have to share their bank transactions for this period with party chief Amit Shah.
That's not enough, said the Congress. "Cut the rhetoric & jumla's Modiji. Dare U to make accounts of BJP&RSS public before #DeMonetisation (1st April to 8th November) & not post facto," tweeted party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala. (sic)
PM Modi's instructions come as the government has proposed new tax rules for those who surrender black or untaxed money by the end of the year. 50% of the amount that is disclosed will be penalized and taxed, 25% will be placed in a for four years with no interest paid to the owner in a special fund for welfare and development schemes, and the remaining 25% will be made available to the owner for immediate use.
The opposition has alleged that the BJP tipped off chosen industrialists and some of its own leaders ahead of the PM's shock announcement in a television speech on November 8 that declared 500- and 1,000-rupee notes would be illegal just a few hours later. The government has flatly denied those accusations, but the opposition points to a land-buying spree undertaken by the BJP in Bihar before demonetization was ordered.
Nearly 90 billion dollars have been deposited in banks since then. Proxy placing of money in zero-balance or Jan Dhan accounts, intended for the poor, is being investigated because deposits in them have surged to nearly 64,000 crores. Deposits below 50,000 rupees will not be questioned, the government has said.
The PM's reform, widely praised as audacious, has, however, earned criticism for flawed execution. There isn't enough cash to replace the notes that were withdrawn which formed as much as 86% of the currency in circulation. Banks have been gridlocked with masses of people trying to get cash while nearly half of the country's 2 lakh ATMs remain unable to dispense the larger-sized bills that have been introduced.
The opposition has attacked the government for plunging rural India into a cash crisis where most of the population is excluded from formal banking. The government has responded with special packages for farmers of loans and credit.