The government will decriminalise the Income Tax Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her address on the 'roadmap to a $5 trillion economy' at the Nani Palkhivala centenary celebrations in Chennai on Sunday.
Sitharaman said that apart from decriminalising corporate laws, settling tax disputes and privatisation of government-run firms are on the agenda to achieve the $5 trillion economy goal.
The government has already identified statutory changes to be made in Companies Act that decriminalise procedure lapses and do not affect public interest as part of its effort to improve ease of doing business. About 46 amendments to penal provisions may be made to either remove criminality or restrict punishment to only fine or allow rectification of defaults using alternatives, to de-clog the criminal justice system in India.
"I have gone through this (Companies Act) with a comb. We are working to decriminalise companies and ensure that no other Acts including Income Tax Act and PMLA, have such provisions," The Indian Express quoted Sitharaman saying.
The Finance Minister's statements come just around 10 days ahead of her presentation of the Union Budget to the Parliament on 1 February.