“Government has formulated five-pronged strategy against black money”

The government said on Tuesday that it had received information about Indians holding accounts in Swiss banks and was taking appropriate action.

“We have received some information with regard to some deposits in Swiss banks,'' Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

“Whenever information about money deposited in a foreign bank account is obtained, it is first verified and then action is taken in accordance with the law to bring the undisclosed amount to taxation,'' the reply said.

However, it did not disclose the names of account holders, pleading that the information received under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) was covered by the confidentiality provision of the DTAA.

The Finance Minister said the government had formulated a five-pronged strategy in this regard. This comprised joining the global crusade against black money; creating an appropriate legislative framework; setting up institutions for dealing with illicit funds; developing systems for implementation; and imparting skills to the manpower for effective action.

New study

“In the absence of credible information regarding the quantum of black money, the government has roped in three leading think-tanks — NCAER, NIFM and NIPFP — to conduct a study on unaccounted income generated inside and outside the country. MoUs were signed with the institutes on March 21, 2011. The study is expected to be completed in 18 months at an expenditure of Rs. 7.76 crore,'' the Finance Minister said.

The government had also constituted a high-level committee on black money headed by the CBDT Chairman to strengthen laws to curb generation of black money in India and its illegal transfer abroad and help in its recovery.

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