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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

India writes to Switzerland seeking black money info

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 29, 2014
First Published: 20:21 IST(29/6/2014) | Last Updated: 12:12 IST(30/6/2014)

The government has written to Switzerland seeking details of Indians who have stashed away unaccounted money in the country, stepping up pressure to secure information from the Alpine nation known for its banking secrecy laws.

Separately, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money has also sought data from other probe agencies on all major cases of tax evasion and criminal financial fraud under scrutiny.

Last month, the centre had formed the SIT to crack down on India’s infamous and bustling parallel economy.

The Supreme Court had directed the government to constitute an SIT to investigate individuals whose names were disclosed by Germany for having accounts at LGT Bank in Liechtenstein—a European principality that practices strict confidentiality about bank accounts.

According to sources, the SIT has asked the 11 departments on its panel to provide relevant details of cases that these agencies are pursuing and the status of their probes.

The SIT, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice MB Shah, has also directed them to specify any problems being faced by investigators.

Read: Swiss govt readies list of Indians with black money

The agencies include the Revenue Department, Reserve Bank of India, Central Bureau of Investigation, Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Narcotics Control Bureau, Financial Intelligence Unit, and Foreign Tax and Tax Research wing.

Last week, finance minister Arun Jaitley had said India would write to Swiss authorities with whom the ministry was in touch.

His remarks came a day after a Swiss government official reportedly said that names of certain persons and entities, under the scanner of Swiss authorities, is being shared with India.

Indians’ money in Swiss banks jumped 40% in 2013 to nearly two billion Swiss Francs (CHF) – close to `14,000 crore – from 1.34 billion CHF, or about ` 9,514 crore, in 2012.


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