“Cleanliness” and “Sleeplessness” suddenly hold new definitions in a country that prides itself on democratic systems and the power of the people! Could they have ever come harder than they have in the past six days? Hold on India – The country is in for sweeping changes and suddenly nobody can turn their eyes away. A tsunami named Modi is sweeping across the nation and the population can only stand wonder eyed as the economy undergoes mammoth changes. In a series of steps to be taken over the next few months, the Prime Minister in his Goa speech on November 12, enumerated proposed – attacks –  on major banes of our society namely, Benami property, Gold hoarding, hawala transactions. The Prime Minister has appreciated the segment of population that wants to be honest and enumerated the achievements by the common man so far –

  • In just the past two years, almost 1.25 lac crores has been deposited in the light of various raids, surveys and other declarations
  • There have been 20 crores PM Jan Dhan accounts opened and these people have also been given Rupay Debit cards with which they can make purchases
  • An astonishing amount of almost 45000 crores was deposited in the Jan Dhan accounts

It is no small thing that 86% of the money in circulation suddenly becomes meaningless. This is bound to create ripples across the economy.

For those of us who might not be familiar with the concept, Benami property essentially means property bought by an individual, but not in his name. In short, the financer of the property and the owner on paper are two different people – the main beneficiary being the financer only. It has been reported on various occasions that almost 50% of the country’s unaccounted wealth lies in the form of Benami transactions.Situations in which a property would not be Benami are –

  • when the property is bought in the name of children or spouse with declared, known income
  • property bought in joint ownership with a sibling
  • property held as a trustee

Effectively, even if property is bought in the name of parents, it would be considered ‘benami’.  Under the new amendment act operational from November, there is seven years imprisonment as well as heavy penalty for those found guilty of having indulged in such sales.

Besides, Modi has vowed to put an end to the conversion of gold into black money. There have been instances of people buying jewellery without disclosing anything. Now onwards, anybody trying to buy jewellery for more than Rs 2 lacs will have to give their PAN cards as proof. Further, jewellers will also have to pay excise duties now – this is something that previous governments have always backtracked on.

In what is said to be a 50 day countdown, Modi promises to actually bring about a Swatch “Bharat Abhiyaan” in its truest essence.

Watch this space for more!