January 21, 2020

Income Tax Act, PMLA To Be Decriminalized: Sitharaman

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The central government plans to decriminalize the Income Tax Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as part of steps towards restoring business confidence.

These are among the steps being taken to catapult the country to a USD 5 trillion economy, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.

In her address about ‘Roadmap To A USD Trillion Economy’ at the Nani Palkhivala centenary celebrations in Chennai recently, she stated that decriminalizing corporate laws, settling tax disputes and rapid privatization of state-run firms were among the steps which the government is taking to achieve the target.

The government has spoken about changes to be made in the Companies Act to decriminalize several procedural lapses and those that do not affect public interest to ease compliance.

As part of this exercise, around 46 penal provisions will be amended to either remove criminality, or to restrict the punishment to only fine.

The next step is to extend this exercise to laws dealing with income tax and money laundering.

“I have gone through this (Companies Act) with a comb. We are working to decriminalize companies and ensure that no other Acts including Income Tax Act and PMLA, have such provisions,” Sitharaman said.

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