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Narendra Modi eyes real estate assets in drive against graft

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New Delhi, 26 Dec 2016 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi has quietly plugged a tax loophole used by the wealthy to buy real estate in someone else’s name as part of his campaign against corruption, a senior tax official said on Monday.

While the focus of his administration was managing the fallout of a shock move last month to scrap old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, the official told Reuters that the department expected to step up scrutiny of real estate assets with suspicious titles.

Tax officials expected to use returns for the current year that are filed in July as well as other means such as raids and data from bank transactions to gather information about suspicious real estate assets, the official said.

“This is our priority for next year,” said the official, requesting anonymity as unauthorized to speak to the media.

Any move to clean up India’s messy real estate market could prove to be a mammoth and messy task and would come even as the Modi government is facing mounting criticism of its handling of the cash crunch that followed the scrapping of higher denomination currency notes.

India’s land records are patchy and arcane. Analysts say people such as politicians, businessmen and non-resident Indians often use cash they haven’t paid taxes on to buy property, but put it in the name of their relatives or trusted employees.

But often apartments and land pass down generations in a family without the original owner’s name ever being changed in the title.

Data on the scale of such activity is not available. But industry estimates show about 5 to 10 percent of real estate in many cities is bought by people who have evaded taxes.

In his monthly radio address on Sunday, Modi defended demonetisation, which he has billed as an attempt to fight corruption, and said the government would implement the law to clean up India’s real estate records in coming days.

“There is no question of a retreat,” Modi said.

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Bigg boss 13: Siddharth Shukla won, Asim first runnerup

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Delhi court convicts 19 persons in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur shelter home case

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New Delhi, 20 Jan : The Saket court in Delhi on Monday convicted 19 accused, including high-profile Brajesh Thakur, in connection with the alleged sexual and physical assaults on girl inmates at a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district.

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Violence in JNU, masked goons attack students, teachers

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New Delhi, 5 Jan : Violence swept the Jawaharlal Nehru University on Sunday as several masked individuals, both male and female, thrashed students, including girls, and teachers inside the varsity campus with wooden and metal rods.

Shah takes stock of situation, orders probe

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday ordered the Delhi Police to take all necessary action to control the situation in the Jawaharlal Nehru University where widespread violence in the evening left many students, including girls, and teachers injured.

Priyanka Gandhi reaches AIIMS to meet injured JNU students

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday reached All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to meet the students who were injured during the clash between the two groups inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

Fascists in control of our nation: Rahul

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked the Central government over the violence that erupted in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus on Sunday.

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