Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman said the drive against tax evasion is an ongoing process and the government has taken various steps under a multi-pronged strategy to deal with the issue of black money.

"Amendments in the Income Tax Act have been proposed through Finance Bill, 2014, which will enable the Central Board of Direct Taxes to collect information from the Financial Institutions for transmission on an automatic basis to countries/jurisdictions with which an agreement for automatic exchange of information is entered into" Sitharaman said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

Under these bilateral or multilateral agreements, the government would be receiving information about taxpayers hiding their money in offshore financial centres through multi-layered entities with non-transparent ownership on an automatic basis, she said.

Among others, government is developing systems for implementation of such initiatives, imparting skills to the work force for effective action and joining the global crusade against black money, the Minister added.

She also said sustained efforts have resulted in levy of taxes and penalty and launching of prosecution in appropriate cases.

In reply to a query that why global Participatory Notes (PNs) supposed for using laundering black money were not banned, she said Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) can issue PNs to only those entities that are regulated by an appropriate foreign regulatory authority.  PIs are also required to provide an undertaking that they have not issued the PNs to Indian residents or non-resident Indians.

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