The Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to bring an adjournment motion on black money to be moved by LK Advani in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday and said there will be discussion on the issue in the House.
With an adjournment motion on black money in Lok Sabha today, the Congress is taking no chances with the numbers and has asked its members and those of the allies and supporting parties to be present in the House on the day.
As part of a deal struck with the opposition, before the proposed FDI in multi-brand retail paralysed Parliament for nine consecutive days, the government had conceded its demand for an adjournment motion on black money.
In return, the opposition had dropped its insistence for a similar motion on price rise and agreed to a discussion on the issue under rule 193, which does not entail voting.
Though there is no visible sign of panic among government managers, they are working hard to keep their numbers ready because an adjournment motion is similar to a no-confidence vote.
The wording of the motion on black money, to be moved by senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani and Left leaders, has been changed to accommodate the government’s sensibilities. The notice would call for an adjournment motion to discuss “the situation arising out of the money deposited illegally in foreign banks and action being taken against guilty persons”.
The relaxed mood in the Congress camp is due to the fact that its allies are on board on the issue and the government managers are also counting on the possible abstention from the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, which extend outside support to the United Progressive Alliance government. The Left is expected to walk out at the time of voting.
Parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal is learnt to have spoken to the leaders of alliance partners on ensuring presence of their members in the House.
The BJP MPs on Friday submitted a declaration to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari that they do not have illegal accounts abroad.
The decision to submit this declaration was taken following party veteran LK Advani's Jan Chetna Yatra.
Advani, who met the presiding officers of the two hosues on Friday along with party leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, said that he had suggested to them that the form filled by candidates contesting elections about their financial assets should also include a declaration about their not having any illegal account abroad.
Sushma Swaraj is leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha and Jaitley in the Rajya Sabha.
Signalling that the move to submit declarations was aimed at exerting pressure on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) on the issue of black money, Advani said the party will seek details on information the government has been able to obtain about illegal accounts abroad.
"Switzlerland has passed a law. The US, Germany, France have been able to get names...when there is a discussion, we will ask what the government has obtained," Advani said.
He said the United Nations Security Council had "passed a resolution against corruption some time back, which also included the issue of illegal bank accounts in other countries".
"At the end of yatra, I had declared that all members of party will make a declaration and submit it to presiding officers," he said.
He said 112 party MPs in the Lok Sabha and 50 in the Rajya Sabha had submitted the declaration. Advani said party MP Ram Jethmalani could not come as his daughter is unwell in Mumbai.
On the other hand, broadening its probe in overseas black money cases, the finance ministry has decided to write to tax havens and other countries to obtain past information of banking-related transactions in select cases.
Top sources said that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has obtained data of a number of accounts in foreign locations, including tax havens, and it will now write to these countries to share information about past banking transactions under the amended and rectified provisions of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
"The CBDT has begun renegotiation with almost 75 countries to broaden the scope of exchange of information under DTAA and the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA).
Banking information on select accounts of the past are now being asked from some of the countries as the I-T department has obtained reports of suspected money stashed by few entities," official sources said.
The countries that will be approached include the US, UK, British Virgin Islands among others, they said.
India, at present, has completed negotiation with 60 countries/jurisdictions which includes 24 existing DTAAs, 19 new DTAAs and 17 TIEAs while negotiations with 26 countries/jurisdictions are underway.