Monday, November 28, 2016

BlackMoney Penalty: Official method to recapitalise banks

BlackMoney Penalty: Official method to recapitalise banks

Govt. has proposed to hold on to some of the money deposited in the banks if people can't satisfactorily explain the source of those money.

In the latest twist to the unfolding #Demonetisation drama, the Modi Government has proposed that people holding blackmoney can declare their blackmoney and pay 49.9 percent as tax and penalty. The breakup is as follows. Govt. will charge 30% as tax on the undisclosed income, plus there will be a 33% surcharge on it. And a 10% of the declared amount will be charged as penalty.

Apart from this, 25% of the declared income will have to be mandatorily locked-up in an interest free bonds for four years. Though the Modi Government doesn't officially say so, it expects this 25% to help in recapitalising the banks which have seen massive NPAs. For the record the Gross Non Performing Assets (NPAs) of Banks in March 2016 was 7.6%. And this figure was expected to increase to 8.5% by March 2017 and if the macro-economic situation deteriorated then it could increase to 9.3%. (Source: RBI Projections)

For example, if it can get say 1 lakh crore voluntarily disclosed as previously undeclared and hence untaxed amount which we refer to as blackmoney, then 25% of it would be 25000 crores. So this 25000 crores would be locked up for 4 years and help in recapitalising the public sector banks.

The Government was expected to inject some 40,000 crores of rupees into the banks which would have been too little. So the Government is trying to get the funds from public to recapitalise the banks.

The Government has also said that if people don't declare their undisclosed income and then get caught, then they will face penalty of 85%.

Since 9th November, a lot of people have been illegally helping change unaccounted for cash of people by taking commissions of 30 to 35%. Some people who have more than 5 or 10 crores of rupees have also given some 50% as commission to some bank employees and Income Tax people to get new notes. So the Government's proposed 49.9% combined tax, surcharge and penalty may find some takers.

Since a lot of people out of fear of persecution by Income Tax department won't declare their previously undisclosed income, the Government is trying to threaten with the higher figure of 85% if they get caught. It is a common knowledge, that the Income TAx department is grossly unprepared to handle such massive volume of cases. So it would be a big help for the Government if more people come forward and declare their previous undeclared incomes.

Till date some 8 lakh crores of rupees have been deposited in the banks. The Government was expecting that this number will be much lower. If this rate of deposits go on, then most of the 1570 crore 500 rupee notes and 630 crore 1000 rupee notes will get deposited in the banks. That would be a nightmare scenario for the Government. They had thought that if some of the notes don't come back, then RBI will knock off that amount from their books as liability and then give back the same amount to Government as dividend. The creative ways many people have adopted to deposit their blackmoney in the banks has raised the tension of the Government. If the Government can't get back money in dividend from the RBI, then it can't have a lower fiscal deficit and also it won't be able to recapitalise the banks.

So the Government now has come out with this idea of a voluntary disclosure. However, the Government is not using the word voluntary disclosure because its Voluntary disclosure scheme has just ended on 30th September.

There are some people who have 8-10 crores of cash. Some of them who were previously despondent, may go and declare it to the Government. Since they were anyway giving 35% as commission to agents, so giving a bit more and buying peace of mind may be preferable to some. However, knowing the fear of the income tax department, not everybody will agree to declare. So the Income Tax team may need to do a lot of work. Recapitalising banks won't be such an easy job.

Nevertheless, already the banks are flush with cash deposited by people. All these money is locked up in banks, as people can't draw more than 2000 rupees per day. This is expected to last for six months. So the banks have got some respite for six months from the NPA problem. The last word on this is not yet heard. However, the cover of the Modi Government that this is a people centric move is slowly getting blown and the main aim to recapitalise the banks and give a positive spin to the PM's image is now becoming clear to many people.

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