Reacting to The Indian Express expose on the number of Indian HSBC clients having almost doubled from the earlier 628 names to the newly-revealed 1,195 names, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said any additional names of resident Indians that surface will surely be brought under the scope of the government’s action.
Stating that the details that have come out today are more or less in line with what is available with the government, Jaitley said, “Some additional names have come. If those additional names are those of resident Indians having these accounts… a case exists. If they are foreign citizens or non-resident Indians, then there’s a different dimension to it. The names of resident Indians, which are additional… we’ll surely bring the under the scope of the government’s action.”
The Finance Minister said that after the government launched prosecution proceedings against illegal accounts around seven months back, around “60 prosecutions have been launched” and these names have become public by way of court cases lodged in various courts.
Jaitley added that assessments of around 350 account holders had already been done and the assessment of the remaining accounts will be completed by March 31.
He added that penalty and prosecution are ways to punish illegal account holders and to get the money back and this was being done by the government. “The Revenue Department is in active touch with informants,” Jaitley said, adding he couldn’t reveal more on this because on the nature of the case.
Meanwhile, following The Indian Express expose, the Chairperson of the Supreme Court-appointed SIT on blackmoney called an emergency meeting later today discuss the new revelations.
The Indian Express’ investigation in partnership with the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and the Paris-based Le Monde newspaper has revealed 1,195 Indian HSBC clients, roughly double the 628 names that French authorities gave to the Government in 2011.