New Delhi: India can now sign treaties with
five more countries in its pursuit to bring back black money
stashed abroad with the Cabinet on Friday approving such pacts.
Under the agreements, India can seek information
regarding secret bank accounts. The five countries include
Malta, Georgia and Uruguay, sources said.
India has already signed Double Taxation Avoidance
Agreements (DTAAs) with 79 countries and modifications in such
pacts were needed in 74 of them to broaden the scope of
article of exchange of information to include exchange of
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee earlier this month
said negotiations for a total of 23 pacts in line with
international standards have been completed and 10 for Tax
Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs).
Government has been under attack from the Opposition
which has been alleging that it was not doing enough to
retrieve the black money.
Government has been insisting that it has been making
all efforts to bring back the black money but it was going to
be a long haul.
Detailing the steps being taken, Mukherjee recently said
that government has formulated a five-pronged strategy to
combat the menace of illicit funds generated both as a result
of tax evasion and corruption.
He said during the last 18 months, the government had
collected tax on black money to the tune of Rs 34,601 crore
and detected undisclosed income of about Rs 15,000 crore.