Expressing government's commitment
to deal with the menace of black money
, President Pratibha Patil on Monday said "many steps" are being taken to contain generation of illicit wealth
and preventing it from flowing out of the country.
"We are taking many steps to contain the generation and outflow of illicit funds from the country and for opening channels for getting wider information on black money from other countries," Patil said while addressing the joint sitting of Parliament
She said the Government has remained committed to providing an "honest and more efficient Government" and has taken several important steps towards that end.
To tackle the menace of black money, Patil said the Government has initiated action on various fronts, including the enactment of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, amendment of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and setting up of a special committee to examine measures to strengthen laws to curb black money generation.
Other steps, include commissioning of studies by independent agencies to assess the quantum of black money both inside and outside the country and framing of the General Anti-Avoidance Rules and Controlled Foreign Company Rules under the proposed Direct Taxes Code (DTC).
Patil said further said steps are also being taken for getting information on black money from other countries.
The measures, include operationalisation of new Income Tax Overseas Units, signing of new Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements and new Tax Information Exchange Agreements, besides better implementation of Transfer Pricing and International Taxation provisions.
Opposition is likely to raise the issue of bringing back black money stashed abroad in the Budget Session. FULL COVERAGE:BUDGET 2012-13
Referring to the proposed legislations like Citizens' Right to Grievance Redress Bill, the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill and the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, Patil said, "a formidable and unprecedented array of Bills has been introduced in the Parliament.
"Together these have the potential of bringing about a transformational change in curbing corruption and enhancing transparency and accountability in governance", she added.
She further said efficient and automated delivery of public services with minimum human intervention is one of the keys to reducing corruption.
Under the National e-governance programme, Patil said more than 97,000 Common Service Centres have been established across the country for making public services conveniently available to citizens.
Departments responsible for Income Tax, Passports, Central Excise, and Corporate Affairs have started delivering online services.
"New e-governance projects in education, health, public distribution and postal services will be launched...
Increasingly, public services under all e-Governance projects will be delivered through Internet and mobile phones," Patil said.
The President also said that efforts are underway to build political consensus on the Goods and Services Tax, which will give a major boost to the economy by rationalising indirect taxes and giving full input credit.