It is astonishing that the actual areas of black money circulation, chiefly property deals, escape attention, while the Finance Minister keeps stressing the merits of the cash transaction tax.

Even a genuine payment such as an EMI will trace a trail of bribery and fraud. The extent of corruption in property transactions can be attributed to our historical lust for acquiring land.

One possible way to control it could be to declare a minimum registration cost for each area, and bringing a law that anybody can acquire the registered property within 60 days on paying 20 per cent more. This will reveal the real value of the property. Property tax can then be self-assessed at some percentage of the property value.

This will open up a new era where people can honestly and fearlessly declare their property value and the tax they pay.

S. S. Kumar

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 30, 2005)
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