India will join the league of countries like Singapore, UK and US with its proposed law to check black money, under which, those hiding income and evading tax in relation to foreign assets can be slapped with a prison term of up to ten years. The proposed imprisonment penalty and the monetary penalty could be higher than many other countries. The new law asks for a penalty for such concealment of income and assets at the rate of 300 per cent of tax, while offenders will not be permitted to approach the Settlement Commission.
Non-filing of returns or filing with inadequate disclosure of foreign assets will itself become liable for prosecution with punishment of rigorous imprisonment up to seven years. The proposed law in India has been largely welcomed, industry body Assocham on Sunday said the government should avoid "over-kill and rush job" in its efforts to check foreign assets' concealment. ITC's Chairman YC Deveshwar said that the "strong measures to eliminate black money and to impose exemplary punishment is a bold step to curb the parallel economy and mainstream resources for productive growth."