Banks, financial institutions to face action under new black money law: Revenue Secretary

New Delhi: Under the new law on black money, banks and other financial institutions will also face action if they are found to have abetted stashing of illicit wealth, along with the action against the perpetrators and beneficiaries of this crime.

Revenue Secretary Shaktinkanta Das
Revenue Secretary Shaktinkanta Das
The new law will not only target the perpetrator of the crime, of holding or generating black money, but also the “arbitrator, the abettor and the beneficiary”, Revenue Secretary Shaktinkanta Das said today.

The comments assume significance in view of the charges being faced in India and elsewhere by global banking major HSBC for allegedly helped individuals in parking ill-gotten wealth in Switzerland.

“… The new legislation will deal with perpetrators of the offence of black money, as also the abettor and the beneficiary,” he said, while adding that the perpetrators could be individuals entities or institutions, while abettors could be banks or financial institutions.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced in the Union Budget on Saturday that the government will frame a new law to check the black money menace and a bill in this regard would be presented in the Parliament during the current session.

The law would provide for hefty penalties and imprisonment of up to ten years.

Speaking at an event organised by industry body Assocham, Das said that the black money law will be a very comprehensive piece of legislation, but added that the intention is not to create an environment of fear.

“We would expect our banks and financial institutions to be very reposnible… If we find there is an element of abetment provided by these institutions, naturally, that will attract provisions of the law,” he added.

“We want to have a non-adversarial tax administration. We do not want to do anything which vitiates the investment climate or which vitiates the ease of doing business or which affects businessman, industry and other people in carrying on their normal business activity,” he said.