NEW DELHI, Oct. 1 (UPI) — A tax evasion amnesty program in India helped uncover billions of dollars in undeclared income and assets, officials said.
Tens of thousands of Indians came forward as the the four-month program ended on Friday to declare a total of $9.5 billion in “black money” which was never reported or taxed.
“I compliment all those who chose to be tax compliant in IDS-2016,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted from his official account. “This is a great contribution towards transparency and growth of the economy.”
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said a total of 64,275 declarations were made from the approximately 700,000 suspected tax evaders contacted by the government earlier this year, according to the BBC.
Those who declared were asked to pay 45 percent in taxes to the state in exchange for avoiding criminal prosecution, Voice of America reported. .
Jaitley said the $9.5 billion total could rise as more declarations are processed and the government could raise nearly $4.5 billion as a result of the program.
The government said the money raised by the amnesty program will be spent on public welfare.