Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced Tuesday that the demonetization exercise initiated by the government in November 2016 has helped increase the number of tax payers in the country by 9.1 million people.
The addition represents a 25% increase in the number of taxpayers as compared to last year. Moreover, there has been a 22% increase in the e-filing of income tax returns.
The minister said that demonetization had instilled fear in the minds of black money hoarders, propelled the use of digital money and led to an increase in the tax revenue as well.
“One message has gone out clearly as per the steps taken by the CBDT post demonetisation — it is no longer safe to deal with excessive cash and tax evaded money … It is absolutely clear that those who have been indulging in all these are no longer safe,” Jaitley said, alluding to the fact that the purpose and objective of demonetization has been achieved.
The Finance Minister made this information public while launching a new website ‘Operation Clean Money’ aimed at tackling black money. The said campaign was initiated on January 31, 2017.
Various agencies of the government are jointly tackling the issue of black money.
Post demonetization, the government has identified 1.8 million people who purportedly carried out dubious transactions. Of these, 1.3 million people responded to the taxman’s queries and these responses were found to be satisfactory. The authorities have conducted search action on 900 groups, 400 cases have been referred to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) while the CBI has also registered various cases pertaining to undisclosed money.
“We want to convey a message that if you are doing something wrong, there is not only one department, other departments will also take action simultaneously. And, you cannot escape from it. So, that fear should be in the mind of the assessee if they are doing something wrong. There should be no fear in the mind of honest taxpayer,” Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman Sushil Chandra said.