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Gujarati Indians bring back cash stashed abroad

By Otiato Guguyu | Published Tue, September 11th 2018 at 15:06, Updated September 11th 2018 at 15:08 GMT +3

Wealthy Indian families have brought back more than Sh5.9 billion from banks in India’s Gujarat State under the extended tax amnesty.

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According to the Times of India, quarterly data compiled by State Level Bankers Committee in Gujarat shows that the billions of shillings were withdrawn between April and June this year.

“Bank officials and tax experts believe that a staggering Sh13.9 billion (Rs 1,000 crore) in non-resident Gujarati deposits have been withdrawn from Kutch banks since December 2017,” the Indian Times reported.

Majority of the withdrawals have been recorded in Bhuj and Mandvi talukas native to Gujaratis who have settled in Africa.

"They are meant to avoid penalty or tax on their income stashed outside Kenya," said the newspaper.

The Government is desperate for cash and has admitted that all etiquette on corruption can be set aside - a move meant to convince the fat cats to bring the money back home.

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In 2016, the Tax Procedures Act was amended to provide a tax amnesty on income declared for the year 2016 by a person who earns taxable income outside Kenya.

This was, however, not taken up and in 2017, Treasury CS Henry Rotich extended the period for applying for amnesty from December 30, last year, to last June 30, for the year of income 2016.

“Despite the extension, the uptake of amnesty has been low, partly due to concerns that when the monies are returned, questions will be raised regarding the source as required by Financial Reporting Centre,” said Mr Rotich.

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Treasury said no such questions would be asked.  

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