Govt apologizes for long delay in Benami Law

NEW DELHI: The Government today apologized for its share of lapses in not notifying a Benami transactions law passed by Parliament way back in 1988, but said other governments too were responsible for it.

“I can’t pass on the buck to everyone. I definitely apologize for the lapses on my part. But, there were definitely lapses (on part of) others also,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in the Rajya Sabha.

He said during Question Hour that the 1988 law remained inoperational as rules could not be framed.

Mukherjee, however, assured the House that as and when a new law is enacted, it would be made operational without delay.

He said since the passage of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988, seven Finance Ministers have occupied office in the North Block.

The UPA Government has since introduced a new bill on August 18 in the Lok Sabha to replace the 1988 legislation.

Rules in the original Act could not be framed because there were deficiencies in it, Mukherjee said.

“We have identified all these deficiencies…I can assure the House that these things will not be repeated,” Mukherjee said, adding the Government has decided to re-write all the financial laws.

The Government has constituted a Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) under the chairmanship of Justice (retd) B N Srikrishna for rewriting and cleaning the financial sector laws to make them in tune with current requirements.

Benami transactions are one of the notorious sources of black money. -PTI

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