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Published On: Sat, Jun 30th, 2018

Not all Swiss bank money illegal: FM Piyush Goyal

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goyal_660_012818042729_062918042316NEW DELHI : As reports of a 50% rise in money deposited by Indians in Swiss banks came in, the opposition, led by Congress and its chief Rahul Gandhi, latched onto the opportunity to launch a fierce attack on the Modi government who had promised to bring back all black money stashed abroad.
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, claimed that not all money deposited with Swiss banks are black, Congress hit back saying the BJP is now calling money stashed abroad “white”.Citing news reports, Mr. Goyal said 40% of the deposits was the result of the liberalised remittance scheme introduced by former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. As per the scheme, an individual could remit up to $2,50,000 per year, he said.
He added that the government would start getting details on bank accounts of Indians in Switzerland from next year under a bilateral tax treaty and strong action would be instituted against anyone found guilty.
The Minister was responding to news reports that money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose to CHF (Swiss Franc)1.01 billion (₹7,000 crore) in 2017, reversing a declining trend over three years amid a “clampdown” on suspected black money stashed there.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi took a jibe at Prime Minister Modi in a tweet saying, “…2018, HE says: 50% jump in Swiss Bank deposits by Indians, is “WHITE” money. No “BLACK” in Swiss Banks!
Rahul Gandhi further added that under the NDA rule, alleged scamsters such as Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya fled the country with public money.Goyal, however, asserted that strong action would be taken against anyone found guilty of wrongdoing.

Later in the day, Union minister Arun Jaitley wrote a blog post warning that Indians with illegal deposits in Swiss banks would face harsh penal proceedings under the black money law after Switzerland starts real-time sharing of details of accounts from January onwards.
“A news item has appeared today indicating an increase of money by ‘Indians’ in the Swiss banking system. This has led to misinformed reaction in certain circles raising a query whether the government’s anti-black money steps have yielded results,” Jaitley said in his blog.

Piyush Goyal, too, added that India would get the details of bank accounts from Switzerland under a bilateral treaty.Money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose by over 50 percent to CHF 1.01 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017, reversing a three-year downward trend amid India’s clampdown on suspected black money stashed there.

“Swiss Bank deposits fell during Dr. Manmohan Singh’s time, only to rise to record levels under PM Modi. The current increase of 50.2 pc post demonetisation, is the maximum since 2004,” the party said on its Twitter handle.
“What happened to PM Modi’s promise of eradicating corruption and bringing back black money?” Congress spokesperson RPN Singh asked.He also sought to know about the BJP’s promise of bringing back Rs 80 lakh crore in black money stashed abroad and crediting Rs 15 lakh in every bank account.
But, the reality is that instead of the Modi government getting Rs 15 lakh deposited in every bank account, the money parked by Indians in Swiss banks has risen by over 50 per cent to Rs 7,000 crore in 2017, he said.
The JD(U), a BJP ally, also expressed “grave concern” over the surge in deposits of Indians in Swiss banks last year. Its spokesperson K C Tyagi said they had expected that demonetisation, carried out by the Modi government in November 2016, would hit black money hard but the latest figures “are a matter of grave concern”.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said while the money of Indians in Swiss banks rose, the Centre wrote off the corporate world’s loans worth lakhs of crores and allowed some businessmen to flee after looting public money.  Modi govt writes off lakhs of crores of unpaid loans of crony corporates, businessmen flee India after looting public money under his watch; this data is no surprise,” Yechury tweeted.
The Indian money in Swiss banks had fallen by 45 per cent in 2016, marking their biggest ever yearly plunge, to CHF 676 million (about Rs 4,500 crore) — the lowest ever since the European nation began making the data public in 1987.(With Agency Inputs ).

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