New Delhi, June 30: Reacting to reports of 50% increase in money deposited by Indians in Swiss banks, Union minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said all money parked there is not illegal.
In reference to media reports based on the data released by the Swiss National Bank showing a rise in Indian deposits last year and casting doubt on the efficacy of the government’s anti-black money measures, Jaitley described these as “misinformed reaction”.
“A news item has appeared today indicating an increase of money by ‘Indians’ in the Swiss banking system. This has led to misinformed reaction in certain circles raising a query whether the Government’s anti-black money steps have yielded results”, Jaitley said in a Facebook blog post.
The Union Minister said that Switzerland has amended its domestic laws involving all disclosures and entered into a treaty also with India on real-time flow of account information.
The agreement for automatic exchange of information was signed between Switzerland and India last November under which both countries would start collecting data in accordance with the global standards in 2018 and exchange it from 2019.
“The flow of information is starting in January 2019. Any illegal depositor knows that it is a matter of months before his name becomes public and he will be subjected to the harsh penal provisions of the black money law in India,” he wrote.
On the related note, Jaitley underlined that “those who participate in a public discourse must understand these basic facts before expressing an opinion which may be ill-informed”.
“To assume that all the deposits are per se tax evaded money or that Switzerland in the matter of illegal deposits is what it was decades ago, is to start on a shaky presumption.”
Jaitley pointed out that past probs conducted by the Income Tax Department have shown that such deposits include funds held by persons of Indian origin who now hold foreign passports, as well as money belonging to non-resident Indians (NRIs).