18/03/2015 7:40 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Cabinet Clears Black Money Bill

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Venezuelan bolivar notes and various denominations of U.S dollar bills are arranged for a photograph in Caracas, Venezuela, on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. A decline in oil revenue has exacerbated the drop in the bolivar, which has lost 90 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar on the black market since President Nicolas Maduro came to office two years ago. Photographer: Meridith Kohut/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Union Cabinet approved a new bill Tuesday evening that would give more powers to the tax department in tracking illicit wealth stashed abroad and provide for strict penal actions for such offence.

Sources said that the Cabinet approved the new bill on Tuesday evening and it could be presented in Parliament during the ongoing session.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced in his Budget speech on February 28 that the government would bring in a comprehensive law to check the black money menace by providing for a jail term of up to 10 years for hiding foreign assets and up to 300 per cent penalty.

Jaitley had also said that a host of other tough measures including dis-incentivising of cash dealings in real estate and other transactions would be put in place.

Under the proposed law, concealment of income and assets and evasion of tax in relation to foreign assets will be prosecutable with rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years, Jaitley had said, while adding that the offence will be made non-compoundable and the offenders will not be permitted to approach the Settlement Commission.

As regards curbing domestic black money, the finance minister had said a new and more comprehensive Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill would be introduced in the current session of Parliament