Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry held Seminar on Benami Property Transactions with Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, All Gujarat Federation of Tax Consultants, CA Association, Income Tax Bar Association, Tax Advocates Association & ITAT Bar Association to understand and analyze the provisions of Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amended Act 2016, certain confusions and genuine questions and their probable solutions with Shri P. C. Mody, Principal CCIT – Gujarart and other esteemed team of senior officers of department in detail.
Shri P. C. Mody told that there will be “Benami Prohibition Unit” (BPU) in each directorate. There are two BPUs in Gujarat: Ahmedabad (Ahmedabad & Rajkot region) & Surat (Baroda & Surat region). At the time of deliberating such reforms, discussion went to either introduce new law or amend the already existing Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988. Finally, government decided to amend the existing one to cover the transactions entered since then in the new amended law retrospectively.
If the sources of any transactions or property are known, they will not attract provisions of Benami. Years of operation are not considered if the property is from known sources. If stamp duty is not paid, documents can’t be registered and will be considered undisclosed property. After demonetization, property transactions with Old notes (of Rs.500/- or Rs.1,000/-) are void and therefore can’t be considered transfer and therefore not Benami.
Department assured that if transaction is with Bonafide purchaser and at the time of entering transaction, the seller is holding good title. Later the seller is declared doubtful, then the department will be after the seller for the proceeds of transfer. The bonafide buyer and his property will be safe. Punishment will be charged to Benamidar, beneficiary and Abettor. Abettor here is the facilitator or helper for the transaction. They explained that they will derive the abettor by the statements, which is a very difficult task.
The concerns of the business community and general public at large, were addressed by officials satisfactorily.