After demonetization and its expected upshots, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now come out with another effective plan to do away with black money in the country. And, according to the ministry, nothing can wipe out black money better than onslaugting on the Benami Properties. The ban on the big currency notes was announced on November 8, 2016 and after an anniversary, some rigid steps are again going to be imposed on the Benami Properties. There are many instances where it is seen that a property is owned by a person but is paid by another one (under some fictitious name). Such benami transactions, quite undoubtedly, involve black money which has to be bunged up immediately.
The family members of Rashtriya Janata Dal Chief Lalu Prasad were charged by the income tax department in June to probe into Rs 1,000 crore land deals. With the Government starting to address the serious issue of black money and corruption in a widespread manner, a number of short term & long term measures have been taken recourse to among which Benami property seals is truly a great inventiveness.
There has already been an act to rule out benami transactions since 1988; but, it was only on board without action. There are an end number of legislations in our constitution that hardly have any implementation and the Benami Transaction Act was just of similar kind. However, it got amended in 2016 and the amended act is quite effectual to catch the Benami Properties that are still on slat.
At the same time, finding the true recipient of such properties is actually a hard-hitting job and this is the main reason why this act was not implemented so far. To expedite the process, the Government could have come up with such lucrative offers that any secret informer who will disclose the names of the real beneficiaries would be rewarded with certain prize money. But there was always a delusion over the fact that the success rate of such step will always be less for the obvious reason that some swindlers might always seep out the information of the informer.
Nevertheless, by asking the home buyers to link their Aadhaar number with their property documents is certainly a great initiative. The properties would be traced using the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) number of Aadhaar Card. All the fictitious property deals that might have happened under false names will come into seize while the black money holders will also be racked into perfectly. Once the Aadhaar linkage is done, the income tax department can come up to the legal owners any time and in case, they are found unaware of the knowledge of the ownership. It will be considered as a Benami Property.
The new amended act comes with a number of changes. While purchasing properties under the name of parents, kids and spouse is already let off, the home buyers are also required to show the source of money that is used to buy the property. Now, the question remains whether the genuine buyer would face any issue with this new rule on board. Well, they may only have to visit the registrar’s office for updating the Aadhaar number which can easily be borne by the mass for the sake of utter transparency in the entire procedure.
Last but not the least; this step is really anticipated to bring a huge amount of black money to light. Only the Government is expected to give more time to the property owners in order to pass up the probable hazards.