The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) today lent its full support to the government's efforts to tackle black money but urged it to ensure that the issue was approached in a scientific and logical way.
ASSOCHAM Secretary General D S Rawat said the government must take care to ensure that the proposed legislation on concealment of foreign assets did not go in for over-ill and that genuine business or individual transactions were not subjected to minute scrutiny of tax inspectors.
"By all means the government should make tough laws , but then to prevent the misuse of the same, the rules and the procedures should be very simple, easy to understand and be not at all left to the discretion of the assessing officers," he said.
"They should not be left to interpretation. Every minute detail should be written in the statute. Otherwise, the amendments in FEMA may lead it back to the draconian days of FERA,'' Mr Rawat said.
He said while Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's announcement that the government would bring in Bills on Foreign Assets and Benami transactions was welcome, the proposed Bills should be well debated in the public domain.
"Top experts in civil and criminal jurisprudence with knowledge of national and international laws should be consulted. No rush job is advisable.
"The stakeholders' consultations should be wide enough. It should not so happen that we go in over-kill and the news laws themselves become a main source of corruption. That danger could be real,'' Mr Rawat said.
The ASSOCHAM Secretary General said the Indian economy was integrated with the global economy and lakhs of Indian professionals, students, corporate leaders travel all over the world and do business transactions or their professional pursuits.
"Tax compliance has to be done not only in India but also in the host countries and it could be cumbersome and complicated jobs requiring top knowledge and expert advice.
"The problem could be more for the professionals and small and medium enterprises who cannot afford expensive consultancy advice. Thus, while as a nation we stand committed to eradication of black money and corruption, we should not make the business eco-system adversarial,'' Mr Rawat added.