Modi govt has no authentic estimate of black money in Swiss banks, says Nirmala Sitharaman

Modi government has no clear or genuine estimate of black money stored by Indians and enterprises in Swiss banks, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Photo courtesy: Twitter)
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Photo courtesy: Twitter)

NH Web Desk

In a complete contrast to the BJP’s election cry back in 2014 to bring back black money from foreign banks, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the parliament that Modi government has no clear or authentic estimate of black money stored by Indians and Indian enterprises in Swiss banks.

Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman quoted some recent media reports, saying that deposits by Indians in Swiss banks, including through India-based branches, have reduced by nearly 6% in 2018.

According to a report in Economic Times, Finance Minister stated that the India government is taking measures to detect and tax unaccounted income and assets of Indians in swiss banks, which include Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information under which India will receive the information of financial accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland for 2018 and subsequent years, on an automatic basis beginning from September, 2019.

The finance minister stated that India has called for co-operation among different countries to fight corruption at various international fora such as G20 and BRICS.

“Leaders also agreed to renew commitment to pursue high level international cooperation between G20 members in the fight against corruption,” she stated adding that in the joint statement on BRICS Leaders’ Informal Meeting on the margins of G20 Summit, BRICS members agreed to promote international anticorruption cooperation and strengthening of legal frameworks.

Sitharaman noted that the government has taken several concrete steps to crack down on black money in and outside the country by introducing stringent laws.

“In order to lay down measures to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts, the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 was passed by the Parliament,” she stated.

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