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Government committed to identify every black money account holder: Arun Jaitley

Arun-JaitleyA day after the Opposition disrupted the proceedings of Parliament on the first working day of the Winter Session over the issue of black money, the issue has been taken up for a detailed discussion in both the Houses on Wednesday.

“If we indulge in a populist and adventurist stance, it will help the black money account holders,” Mr. Jaitley said, replying to a debate in the Upper House. He will reply to a similar debate held in the Lok Sabha tomorrow.

Mr. Jaitley said it was not a question of whether to disclose names of those who hold black money accounts, but when to do so. The Opposition demanded during the debate that the BJP reveal the names.

The Finance Minister said, “427 accounts, we have been able to identify very well. 250 of them have admitted to having foreign accounts.” He reiterated the government’s commitment saying, “We took over a half done job from the UPA… it is everyone’s wish that money siphoned off be brought back.

During the discussion, Opposition parties accused the ruling BJP of reneging on its election promise of bringing back crores stashed away by Indians in accounts abroad.

Former Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said, “The country has been misled… a promise was made to bring back black money within 100 days… there was politics to acquire power by tarnishing the ruling government.”

“You are all bluffmaster… you have no intention to bring the money back. All false promises,” the Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien said.

Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, Mayawati, chief of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal (United) and Sitaram Yechury of the Left were the other prominent speakers in the Rajya Sabha.

Faced with a united Opposition in parliament on Tuesday, the government had last evening agreed to the discussion in the two Houses, but without a vote at the end. The Congress’ attempt to bring an adjournment motion this morning in the Lok Sabha was rejected.

In the Winter Session, Opposition parties plan to coordinate efforts to block key legislation in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament, where the government is in a minority. Among major bills that the government wants to push through is its big reform, the Insurance Bill.

The Winter Session will continue till December 23 and will have 22 sittings. The government has detailed 37 bills – including the Insurance Bill and the Goods and Service Tax Bill.

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