The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana received a cool response from black money evaders with just Rs 5,000 crore deposited under the scheme.

This was revealed by the Revenue Secretary, Hasmukh Adhia, on Thursday. “The response was not very good,” he said, adding that many people had already deposited their undeclared cash in bank accounts while others found that the tax rate was quite steep.

However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the response to the scheme should be seen in the backdrop of earlier disclosure schemes last year.

“PMGKY was not an isolated scheme that year. The Income Disclosure Scheme was also there and many people deposited money in their bank accounts during demonetisation,” he said at a press conference to mark the three-year anniversary of the NDA Government.

The government had launched PMGKY after the demonetisation of high value currency as a second chance for tax evaders to come clean.

Under the scheme, holders of black money in the demonetised currency notes could declare the undisclosed income and pay penalty and tax of up to 50 per cent of the funds and park 25 per cent in non-interest bearing deposit for four years.

It was open between December 17 last year and March 31 this year.