New Delhi: Dismissing Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee`s statement on the black money stashed abroad
as "delightfully vague and conspicuously evasive", BJP on Tuesday
alleged the government was not serious about the issue as some
of the culprits might be close to the Congress leadership.
"Mukherjee`s comment on foreign bank account deposits of
slush money is delightfully vague and conspicuously evasive.
There is no commitment to bring back the money or disclose the
names of the account-holders. It is completely lacking in
vision," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
He recalled how BJP`s Prime Ministerial candidate L K
Advani had raised this issue during the 2009 Lok Sabha
elections but the Congress had said the opposition was
alerting the account holders.
"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called it an election
stunt... Congress had said in its election manifesto of 2009
that it would take concrete measures to bring back the money.
After nearly two years, the government today said it will form
a study group on the issue," Prasad said.
The main opposition asked the Prime Minister to be "true
to his word" and take action on the issue.
"If this is the stand of the Government of India, after
two years, then we can legitimately make an inference that
this government is reluctant to show any meaningful efforts in
unearthing this great scourge of our economy. Because if the
names are opened this government may have problems. Who knows,
people close to it may find their names there," Prasad said.
Mukherjee today maintained that the government cannot
disclose information received from foreign entities on black
money held by Indians abroad because of absence of legal
BJP suggested that since the Indian economy is now
strong and no longer "Third World", we can leverage on its
strength and demand that the names of these account holders
from the country be revealed to us.
Prasad made a special mention of the case of Hasan Ali,
a Pune-based businessman, who allegedly owes Rs 76,000 crore
to the government in taxes.
"He was detained and surprisingly his case was not
pursued properly enabling him to get bail. There are also
serious allegations against him of money laundering and it is
learnt that the Swiss Bank authorities were willing to reveal
everything about him, suddenly the whole process was slowed
down," Prasad alleged.
BJP charged that the government was only maintaining
that the issue would be examined and said such "evasive"
action against Ali was an attempt to save him due to his
"closeness" with people in high places.
"We shall raise this issue in and outside Parliament,"