The government has taken steps to curb generation of black money in the real estate sector to benefit the middle class, and will further speed up its campaign against ill-gotten wealth as part of its commitment to a ‘zero tolerance policy’ against corruption, President Ram Nath Kovind.

The initiatives of the government to check black money include cancellation of registration of 3.50 lakh suspicious companies and signing of automatic financial information exchange agreements with various countries, Kovind said in his customary address to the joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament.

“My government will make the zero tolerance policy against corruption more comprehensive and effective. The mission to eliminate corruption from public life and government services will be implemented with greater zeal….

“The campaign against black money will be taken forward at a faster pace. During the last two years, 4 lakh 25 thousand company directors have been disqualified and the registration of 3 lakh 50 thousand suspicious companies has been revoked,” he said.

Kovind stated that the world community too is supporting India’s position with regard to action to check generation of black money.

Referring to real estate sector, Kovind said the impact of Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA) is “clearly visible” in curbing black money transactions in real estate sector and protecting the interests of the customers. It has provided “huge relief to the middle class families”.

The Fugitive and Economic Offenders Act, he said, has proven effective in controlling economic offenders fleeing the country.

“Now we are receiving information in this regard from 146 countries, including Switzerland. Of these, we have concluded agreements with 80 countries for automatic exchange of information. We are now receiving information about all those who have stashed black money abroad,” Kovind added.

In August last year, Parliament enacted a law to deter fugitive economic offenders to evade legal process in India by flee the country.

A fugitive economic offender is any individual against whom warrant for arrest is issued for his involvement in select economic offences involving amount of at least Rs 100 crore or more and has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution.