Govt to unveil strategy on black money tomorrow

Under attack from the Supreme Court and the Opposition over stashing of large amount of money in Swiss banks and other tax havens, the government will unveil its strategy to deal with the issue on Tuesday.

Last Updated: Jan 24, 2011, 16:16 PM IST

New Delhi: Under attack from the Supreme
Court and the Opposition over stashing of large amount of
money in Swiss banks and other tax havens, the government will
unveil its strategy to deal with the issue on Tuesday.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will announce the
measures the UPA government intends to take to bring back the
unaccounted money into the country and tighten the regulatory
and tax framework to prevent further illegal outflows.

"Finance Minister will hold a press conference on the
issues related to black money tomorrow," Finance Ministry
spokesman said.

The Supreme Court had pulled up the government for
withholding information on black money stashed in foreign
banks, saying it is not just limited to tax evasion but a
"mind boggling crime" amounting to "theft" and "plunder" of
national wealth having security ramifications.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said there was "no
instant solution" to bring back black money stashed in foreign
banks and that information with the government cannot be made
public due to treaty obligations.

"There is no instant solution to bring back what is
called black money. We have got some information and that has
been provided to us for use in the collection of due taxes,"
he had said.

The issue came for discussion at the last meeting of the
Union Cabinet during which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had
said that it was not possible to make specific details such as
about black money parked in Swiss banks.

Mukherjee had pointed out that the government had
received information about the black money accounts in
foreign banks as per international treaties and if this is
revealed, no government would share such details in future.

It was emphasised at the Cabinet meeting that the
information was shared purely for taxation purposes and the
government intends to do the same without making public the
names of account holders or other details.

The government had also appointed a Group of Ministers
(GoM), headed by Mukherjee, to suggest legislative and
administrative steps to deal with the menace of black money.

The GoM at its first meeting last week asked the
government to expedite the Lok Pal Bill. It also asked the
Cabinet Secretary to form two committees to go into the
specific issues concerning black money.

PTI