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Targeting Bemi Assets

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  28 Dec 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Regardless of the attack on demonetization mounted by certain opposition parties with huge reserves of black money, we have maintained that demonetization was a very bold but desirable economic reform to have been initiated by Prime Minister rendra Modi. That the opposition to the war against black money has been both shrill and sustained has not surprised anyone. All political parties, rendered incapable of paying regular monthly incomes to legislators to ensure their continued support or hamstrung in their customary activity of horse-trading because their cash hoards are now no better than useless paper, are understandably angry at the NDA government and the BJP in particular for being pushed to cashless transactions—something political parties in India are so unfamiliar with. We have been supporting the demonetization move wholeheartedly except to draw attention to the visible lack of preparedness for such a major undertaking. The government would have been far better off if it had printed adequate stocks of new currency notes before demonetizing existing ones. Besides, a government that demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as high denomition currency notes, had no business to print new Rs 2,000 notes. In the coming months and years, people who will set about creating black money afresh, will need much less space to store their money because they can now do the job with Rs 2,000 notes. Besides, the frequently changed instructions about the limits set on the amounts that can be drawn from people’s own bank accounts have not gone down well with the people. Even so, the support for demonetization has been most impressive.
People realize that rendra Modi’s demonetization initiative was just the beginning of a series of economic reforms calculated to end corrupt practices. On Sunday, the Prime Minister said: “I assure you this is just the beginning in our fight against corruption. We have to win this war. There is no question of stopping... There is no question of retreat.” And this is what he had to say about the frequent amendments to the rules announced: “Being a sensitive government, it amends rules as required, keeping the convenience of the people as the foremost consideration, so that citizens are not subjected to hardships... People who cannot endorse corruption and black money openly, resort to searching for faults of the government relentlessly.” It may not be possible to anticipate the steps that are likely to follow the demonetization initiative. However, there can be no room for doubts about further steps aimed at ending the mece of black money. The Prime Minister has vowed to take forward the fight against black money by implementing a strong law against bemi properties as well. We are all aware that one of the most serious economic offences routinely committed in India is the acquisition of property in someone else’s me. The creation of such property in someone else’s me has the objective of keeping many very wealthy people out of the tax-payers’ bracket. The cash hoards of such people get listed as black money because they refuse to become honest tax-payers. So, much of the landed property acquired by them is generally in someone else’s me, so that the real owner does not become a tax-payer. Bemi transactions have led to many other kinds of lawbreaking such as appropriating someone else’s property because it is held in the me of the person who appropriates it. There is an element of poetic justice in the act of bemi owners attempting to appropriate such property. And since the real owners cannot go to court when such things happen, they take the help of crimils to get the property restored to them. It is important to put an end to such false ownership of property and to bring such individuals into the list of tax-payers. So an attempt to end bemi transactions can achieve what demonetization began, mely, to turn millions of non-tax-payers who have huge incomes into tax-payers. This is no small achievement, considering that our direct tax-payers are said to constitute only about one per cent of the population.

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