Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj on Sunday favoured the Union Government entering into a dialogue with foreign countries to get back the black money stashed abroad by Indians even as he lashed out at Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev for raising the issue.
“What is the expertise of (social activist) Anna Hazare to say about black money or that fellow...’sadhu’ Baba Ramdev”, Mr. Bhardwaj, a former Union Law Minister, told reporters in response to questions on the sidelines of a function in Bangalore.
“Are they tax experts? Or (do) they have any knowledge of international law?” asked Mr. Bhardwaj, who had earlier served as Company Affairs Minister.
He said there are media reports that thousands of crores of Rupees had been stashed in Swiss banks by Indians, adding, “This is not a happy state of affairs”.
“I am prepared to say on record that it’s all (black money abroad) because of bad statutes, bad laws that we enact”, he said at the concluding ceremony of the celebration of 150 years of Income Tax in India and Income Tax Day.
He opined that “all that money that has gone out of India is not that kind of clandestine money sent there”, adding, many leading corporates in India had stashed money in various countries prior to economic liberalisation when there was “licence raj” to fuel expansion plans overseas such as the African continent and the Asia Pacific.
Mr. Bhardwaj said: “And ultimately, this is a bilateral matter ...between country to country; government can definitely ask information (on black money) from country to country in mutually assistance programme”.