Not all money abroad is black: Pranab

KHARGRAM (WB), June 10:
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said all the money kept by Indians abroad is not black money and noted that India has signed treaties with 37 countries to know the details of such illegal wealth.
“Not all money kept abroad is black money … It might have been deposited by businessmen or business houses. The process will take time to know the exact amount,” he told a meeting of Congress workers here.
His comments come amidst demands by yoga guru Ramdev asking the Government to take steps to bring bank black money stashed abroad. In his campaign against black money, he has been meeting leaders of various political party leaders.
The Government last month had proposed a multi-faceted strategy to unearth black money through fast-track courts and deterrent punishment but had ruled out any tax any immunity schemes.
The White Paper on black money tabled by Mukherjee in the Lok Sabha favoured a strategic mix of four pillars that will include incentives for voluntary compliance, reforms in vulnerable sectors of economy, creating effective credible deterrence and supportive measures.
The 97-page report however, did not give out any name of black money holders or estimated of such funds either in the country or outside but referred to estimates made earlier by various domestic and foreign institutions.
The Government is looking at various options to bring back unaccounted money stashed by Indian citizens abroad.
Besides signing treaties with various countries, India has joined the global crusade against black money.
India has joined the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development in order to bring greater transparency and accountability in the financial system. India has joined as the 34th member of Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The revised Indo-Swiss Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement allows India to get banking and other information in specific cases that relate to the period starting from April 1, 2011, with limited retrospective application.
The Government is also looking into various aspects of having a UK-Switzerland type treaty under which taxes on secret Swiss bank accounts are shared without disclosing the identity of tax offender. (PTI)


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