Arun Jaitley said the identities of 427 overseas account holders have been established and 250 of them had conceded to holding these accounts. He refuted opposition’s charges that the government is doing little to get back the illicit money stashed away by Indians abroad. Replying to the debate on black money in the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said the government wanted to follow the correct procedure in disclosing names. I agree with Mr. Jaitley that Government should follow the measures to reveal the names. However, why Mr. Jaitley and his team had not shown same kind of maturity when UPA was ruling the centre? On the other hand, Congress, which is alleging BJP for its unwillingness over Black Money also flopped when they were in power.
Jaitley said that although there was evidence of black money being stashed by Indians outside the Indian shores, the government must get evidence first before declaring the names. We signed various treaties with other countries to get the evidence. BJP might have said the names will become public, but this is an eye wash. We know that these names will never be disclosed in future and we will forget the issue as we Indians have very short memory. The opposition led by the Congress sought to tear into the government on the issue and asked it to “apologise” for making “false promise” of bringing black money back from foreign banks during discussion in both houses of parliament. The discussion could not be completed in the Lok Sabha. In the Rajya Sabha, Congress leader Anand Sharma said the BJP had “misled” the country by making tall promises. Even on social media, people are asking for their share of money as Modiji promised them to deposit it in their accounts. In all his pre-poll rallies, the prime minister said Rs.85 lakh crore was stashed in banks abroad. Now, the prime minister says he does not know about it.
Finance Minister said that as things stood now, the Swiss authorities have been persuaded to at least establish the veracity of any evidence that the Indian government and the special team managed to procure from various sources regarding these accounts. The finance minister said that of the 627 names of Indians holding bank accounts overseas, which were furnished to the Supreme Court in a sealed envelope, 427 had been identified. Out of that, he added, 250 had admitted to such accounts. Now, here the questions arise, who verified these account holders? If they agreed also that they possessed an account in a Swiss bank, then this might be for business purpose of heavy transactions. How one can say it is black money. How government will establish that? When Modi government made a Special Investigation Team to probe the black money issue, that time the panel already had these names. All the 627 accounts in the list are at an HSBC Bank branch in Geneva and the details were secured from the French government. The data was actually stolen by a bank employee, as a result of which the Swiss authorities had declined help in any manner. As a result, the bank said that if the Indian authorities get a no-objection certificate from the account holders, it could then share the relevant details.
BJP is hitting a blind wall, as this information is not enough to grill them. This is just to misguide people. India has no official estimates of illegal money stashed away in overseas, but the unofficial ones range from $466 billion to $1.4 trillion. Anyways, Black Money in foreign bank was just a political gimmick as most of the black money is right here in India-in real estate market and invested in gold. It is not possible to bring back black money from abroad as the rules of the respective country cannot be changed for us. Most of the money in foreign banks is considered as white and belongs to diamond merchants and businessmen. Intentions to expose black money in India can bring out a lot of it. The Income Tax Department should go after people who do not file returns but have invested in property and expensive cars. People can provide information to the department, if there is a dedicated website and the complainants name is kept confidential. However, which political party has the guts to bite the bullet? Everyone knows who has this black money. There is no point in diverting people’s attention to a foreign land, one should look inside first. Lakhs of rich investors within the country are rolling their money in market. Millions of business people never ever heard of income tax return. Chartered accountants, who supposedly work for the country are working for individuals and helping them in robbery. It is really shocking that media never brought it to the forefront. Highest taxes are paid by service class people whose salaries come after tax deductions and then also they pay taxes again for every purchase or expenditure. Black market provides an average of 30 per cent annual returns whereas ‘fool’ common man are happy in 8-9 per cent returns on FD or PPF.
Amid allegations about Indians stashing huge amounts of illicit wealth abroad, including in Swiss banks, the Indian government has been saying that it was making various efforts to bring back the unaccounted money which is just a drama. The government must take stern steps to bring the money back into the economy. The step would not only ensure lessening fiscal deficit but also enhance the economic growth of the country. The fact that Swiss banks are providing security to the Indians’ black money makes a mockery of professional ethics. Anyway, one of the election planks of BJP was to fight against corruption and stashing of money “to its logical end”, and even a SIT was formed immediately after Modi government came to power. Now citing treaty, protection of the corrupt is sought. It was the same argument of past UPA government, which was declared rubbish by BJP then.
Being a citizen of this country, I also want to know, when money will be deposited in my account.