Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took to Facebook to say that it is a shaky presumption to assume that the dramatic surge in Swiss Bank deposits are "tax evaded money" as Switzerland is no longer an ideal destination for tax evaders.
As the news report stating that deposits made by Indians in the Swiss Bank rose to over 50% rocked the nation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took to Facebook to say that it is a “shaky presumption” to assume that the dramatic surge in Swiss Bank deposits are “tax evaded money” as Switzerland is no longer an ideal destination for tax evaders.
“It (Switzerland) is on the verge of making disclosures in real time and, therefore, is no longer an ideal destination for tax evaders. 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,” Arun Jaitley wrote in the Facebook post.
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He also said that if any Indian is named to have illegal money parked in the Swiss account, “he will be subjected to the harsh penal provisions of the Black money law in India”. Arun Jaitley further explained that ‘Indian’ money outside the country is of various categories, many of which held by Indian-origin individuals holding foreign passports; monies belonging to Non-Resident Indians; monies belonging to resident Indians who have made legitimate investments abroad, including the transfer of money under the liberalised remittance schemes.
“It is only monies kept by resident Indian outside these categories which become actionable,” he added. Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at the Narendra Modi government reminded the promise of bringing back Rs 15 lakh in each India’s account. Reminding countrymen of the government’s demonetisation step to curb black money he added, “2016, HE said: Demonetisation will cure India of “BLACK” money.”
The issue of black money has always been a matter of big debate in India and Switzerland has been long perceived as one of the safest havens for such funds. There were several rounds of discussions between Indian and Swiss government officials on the new framework and also for expediting the pending information requests about suspected illicit accounts of Indians in Swiss banks.