The news that the Swiss authorities are to share with India a list of those who are account- holders in its banks is only an eyewash (June 23). The enormous time-lag given to those who have stashed their black money by making such a pronouncement only now will only ensure that this is a futile exercise. Investigations show that Indian black money worth $14-trillion is in Switzerland. For the sum of Rs.14,000 crore, calculated in the report, most of these account holders are sure to have legal documents to prove their deposits. In short, this is an overhyped case and nothing will emerge from it.
Switzerland largely escaped war. It is home to a number of international organisations. The Basel accord (Basel Committee on banking supervision) is also regulated from Switzerland. Hence, it is strange that the country allows the stashing of black money under the garb of banking secrecy. This amounts to economic terrorism. The world must unite and put an end to such nefarious activities.
In the past, we have had Opposition leaders make the claim that more than Rs.2 lakh crores of black money has been salted away in Swiss banks. Therefore, the figure of Rs.14,000 crore is a gross underestimate. From the report it is clear that Indian bank account- holders are sure to have withdrawn their deposits just after the tirade against black money started.
S.G. Krishna Prasad,
The news is a shot in the arm for the government on the eve of the Budget. The government should now take multi-pronged action to recover the money and also initiate action against those Indians who have deposited money in the bank. If the government undertakes sincere efforts, the common man need not have to swallow any more bitter pills.
Rs.14,000 crore is still a huge sum of money. If brought back, it will be a huge triumph for the government and the country. Justice M.B. Shah is right when he says that the government should crack down on tax haven companies. The Prime Minister has his priorities right and has shown the people that he is heading in the right direction. The step will send a message to tax evaders that it does not pay to indulge in wrong methods. With India stated to be ranked 58 in terms of countries with money parked in Swiss banks, the situation is certainly not as bad as it has been portrayed and imagined.