To crack down on black money, the revenue department is contemplating a scheme to unearth such funds. The options under consideration include a tax amnesty scheme to get back ill-gotten wealth parked overseas.While I-T officials said that a scheme to unearth black money was under discussion in the finance ministry, they added that it was a preliminary brainstorming session and might not actually be announced.

In the past too, at least on two occasions, there was talk of a tax amnesty scheme being introduced but finance ministers stayed away from any such proposal. When asked, CBDT chairman Sudhir Chandra refused to comment on the issue.

The government had last introduced a tax amnesty scheme — the Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme — in 1997-98, which had helped unearth close to Rs 10,000 crore. The scheme had got judicial endorsement with the Supreme Court upholding its validity, though the government had told the court that it was a one-time measure.

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