WEB Notes: Government will come up with anyway to sell their wicked plots. First it was they needed to remove the 500 and 1000 note in order to ensure everyone was paying taxes. Then when the notes were removed there were not enough new notes to replace them with. That issue still remains, but do not worry, more notes are being printed for the people. Now the Indian government is moving to confiscate gold because hey, the people could be dodging the tax man. This is a disgusting abuse of power and strong arm on the people. Never ever think this cannot happen to you, the Indian people thought the same thing.

Yet the idea of a war on unaccounted-for wealth remains central to demonetization’s popular appeal, which means Modi will have to find other ways to keep that narrative going. So the government has now begun to push income-tax officials to conduct raids on those who might be concealing assets in forms other than cash, such as gold.

There’s already enough fear of such raids becoming common again that the government felt the need to step in to quell some of the anxiety. That didn’t help much. The government “clarified,” among other things, the rules governing when tax officials could seize gold: Nothing would happen “if the holding is limited to 500 grams per married woman, 250 grams per unmarried woman and 100 grams per male.” It also said that there would be no limits on jewelry “provided it is acquired… from inheritance.” Also, the “officer conducting [the] search has discretion to not seize [an] even higher quantity of gold jewelry.”

What this means, unfortunately, is that India’s income tax officers have just won the lottery. During a raid, they can, on the spot, decide whether or not to confiscate a family’s gold holdings. And remember, India has an enormous amount of gold — 20,000 metric tons, much of it inherited. (The rules governing simple searches are different, but few know that.) Rather than cleaning up tax administration, the government has handed tax officials more power than they’ve had for decades. The rich will pay what they need to escape harassment; the rest will suffer.

Source: Message to Modi: Do No More Harm – Bloomberg View

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