Ministry of Finance highlights work on Identification of Benami Properties

Benami Properties
Benami Properties

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs has informed that Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act 1988 as amended by the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 seeks to prohibit the benami transactions irrespective of the method by which the benami property is acquired. Such benami transactions include transactions in respect of movable as well as immovable properties.

Till 31.05.2019, show cause notices under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act 1988 have been issued in over 2100 cases involving benami properties valued at over Rs. 9600 crores.

The Government has taken various steps to identify benami properties.  The Income-tax Department (ITD) has set up 24 dedicated Benami Prohibition Units (BPUs) across India. These BPUs are involved in gathering information and matching the same with the data available for identifying the benami properties and taking effective action as per the provisions of Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act 1988.

Moreover, a new reward scheme titled “Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018” aimed at encouraging people to, inter alia, give information about benami transactions and properties has been introduced.  Under the Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, a person can get reward up to Rs. 1 crore for giving specific information in prescribed manner to the prescribed authorities about benami transactions and properties as well as proceeds from such properties, which are actionable under Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988.  Identity of the persons giving information is not disclosed.

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