New Delhi: The Congress on Monday targeted the Modi government in New Delhi on the issue of black money and accused it of launching "tax terrorism" in the country under its income disclosure scheme.
"The BJP-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government has launched a reign of tax terrorism across the country under its income declaration scheme, which was launched in 2015," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters here.
"Under this scheme, which applied to money undeclared in foreign banks, the total declaration made till August 30 was Rs 4,164 crore only," Tewari said, adding, "and the total tax collected was only Rs 2,428 crore."
"While the government estimated a tax collection of Rs 50,000 crore and estimated an income declaration of Rs 1 lakh crore," he added.
The Congress leader also said that in 1997, the then United Front government had launched voluntary disclosure of income scheme (VDIS) under which total declaration made was Rs 33,000 crore while total tax collected by the government was Rs 10,000 crore.
Tewari also accused the government of threatening the small businessmen and honest taxpayers, and said, "if today we go to any trading hub in the country there are these horror stories of how the small trader, the honest businessman, the honest taxpayer is being literally coerced in order to make declaration to fulfil the target under this income declaration scheme."
"While the oligarchs and crony capitalists and their friends in suit boot are making merry," he added.
The Congress leader also said that BJP leader L. K. Advani had released a report on black money in February 2011 which had estimated an amount of Rs 25 lakh crore as black money in the foreign banks.
Firing salvos at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tewari said, "BJP had said there is Rs 25 lakh crore in foreign bank. Why have you been only able to recover Rs 2,428 crore. Where is the rest?"
"Why have you not brought that money back? Or was that task report only intended to throw sensational numbers into the public discourse?" the Congress leader asked.
"Income disclosure schemes work on incentives and not on intimidation," Tewari said.
The Congress leader also called upon the government to not use any coercive measures to fulfil any targets it has set for itself. "Don't convert the income disclosure scheme into a coercive income disclosure scheme. Don't perpetrate tax terrorism on honest tax payers for your fanciful targets."