ON Black Money, Govt. Takes Stand That it Attacked UPA For

jetelyNEW DELHI : The government today denied opposition allegations of “hypocrisy” and said that it is “not reluctant to make public” the names received from other countries of Indians who have allegedly stashed undeclared or black money in foreign accounts.
“Where is the question of propaganda? We have no problems in making the names public under the due process of law,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters.
His remarks came after the government told the Supreme Court today that it cannot reveal who holds these accounts because that would violate existing tax treaties with other countries.
The opposition Congress said that is exactly the argument it was attacked for by the BJP while it was in power.The court had asked the government to disclose names received from the German government on accounts in the tax haven of Lichtenstein, to petitioner Ram Jethmalani, who was expelled from the BJP last year.
Mr Jaitley said his government was bound by a pact signed in 1995 by the Congress that was in power, which said “names can only be made public after charges are filed in court.”
Mr Jaitley said that a team of officials from his ministry traveled recently to meet with Swiss authorities and managed a major breakthrough. In 2011, an employee of HSBC in Switzerland leaked a long list of foreign account-holders and at least 500 Indians were reportedly on the list. Switzerland had so far refused to share any more information on the grounds that this was “stolen information.”
However, Mr Jaitley said, Swiss authorities have now agreed to reveal information on HSBC accounts being investigated by India already. “But no names can be revealed at this stage,” he added.
Congress leader Salman Khurshid shot back, “Either they (ruling BJP) should back out of the treaty and live up to expectations of people or apologize for attacking us.  We were bound because of promises.”
Bringing back black money was a major campaign issue for the BJP. The case to bring back thousands of crores parked in secret overseas accounts was brought to the Supreme Court in 2009 by Mr Jethmalani

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *