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Jan 02, 2018 07:51 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Centre may tweak the Benami Transactions Act during Budget session

The Benami Transaction Act was first introduced in 1988, amendment to which was proposed in May 2015. The amendment bill was passed in 2016.

Tarun Sharma @talktotarun

The government may soon clear the air around the treatment of transactions in benami properties that took place before 1988.

The Centre is planning to tweak the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, and will introduce the amendment in the Parliament during the Budget session, sources told Moneycontrol.

The Benami Transaction Act was first introduced in 1988, amendment to which was proposed in May 2015. The amendment bill was passed in 2016. Both movable and immovable properties come under the ambit of the Act.

The Central Board of Direct Tax (CBDT) may propose increasing the number of days, for which a benami property can be held by the Initiating Officer after sending a notice, from 90 days to 180 days.

As per the Act, if an Initiating Officer believes that a person is a benamidar, he may issue a notice to that person, subject to permission from Approving Authority.

A senior official of income tax department told Moneycontrol: “A large number of properties were registered before 1988 before the Act came into force. So to clarify certain issues, field officers of the income tax department gave feedback to CBDT in a meeting last month.”

“Field officers have said that 90 days are less for initiating the process against the holding property,” he said.

CBDT had internally set a target of identifying 1,000 benami properties in FY18 across the country.

“As of now, more than 600 movable and immovable properties have already been attached and the remaining 400 may be attached before March,” another senior official of IT department said.

Out of 600, only around 120 properties have been attached to Mumbai under the Benami Properties Transaction Act.

India Union Budget 2018: What does Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have up his sleeve? Click here for top and latest Budget 2018 news, views and analyses.
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