Modi government introduced The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, in Lok Sabha on May 13, 2015 to amend the Benami Transactions Act, 1988 and give it more power. The Act prohibits benami transactions and provides for confiscating benami properties.
Since then the IT department has seized and confiscated assets worth Rs 6900 Crores as per a public awareness advertisement put up by the department.
A benami transaction is an arrangement in which a property (movable or immovable) is transferred to or held in the name of one person (benamidar) but is actually owned and enjoyed by another person (beneficial owner).
Benamidar(in whose name benami property is standing), beneficiary(who actually paid consideration)and persond who abet and induce benami transactions can be prosecuted. They may face upto 7years of rigorous imprisonment besides being liable to pay fine upto 25% of the fair market value of the benami property.
The message also said that people who furnish false information to authorities under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 2016 can be prosecuted. They may be imprisoned up to 5 years besides being liable to pay fine up to 10% of fair market value of benami property.
Modi government is making very clear that benami transactions will not be tolerated. This amended act has given a big boost in the fight against black money and corruption.