New Delhi(PTI): To check the generation of black money in the country, the Cabinet on Wednesday approved the new Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Bill which provides for stringent measures against violators. "The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill, 2015 provides for attachment and confiscation of benami properties and also fine with imprisonment. This is one more initiative to fight the menace of black money inside the country," an official statement said.
"As a sequel to the announcement in the Budget, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval to amend the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 by moving of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill, 2015 in Parliament," it added. Apart from confiscation, the Bill provides for prosecution and aims to act as a major avenue for blocking generation and holding of black money in the form of benami property, especially in real estate.
The statement said the Department of Revenue in consultation with the Legislative Department has amended the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988. The government had in Budget 2015-16, presented at the end of February, announced that it would come out with a new and more comprehensive Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill.
The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act was earlier enacted in 1988, but the rules under that Act could not be formulated due to inherent infirmities in it. Following this, in 2011 the government introduced in Parliament a Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill, which proposed replacing the 1988 Act.
The Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance for examination, which submitted its report in June 2012. However, the Bill lapsed with the dissolution of 15th Lok Sabha.