The Lok Sabha on Thursday cleared crucial changes to a law aimed at curbing money laundering, something that finance minister P Chidambaram described as a sign of India's commitment to deal with offences that have wide international ramifications.
The House passed the 2011 bill to amend the Prevention of Money Laundering Act but not before the opposition and treasury benches took digs at each other during the debate.
Nishikant Dubey (BJP) linked money laundering to black money, attacking the government for doing little on curbing black money. For one, he wondered why the government hadn't spoken on reports that an MP from the treasury benches had a Swiss bank account.
During the debate, Sanjay Nirupam (Congress) sought to pay back in the same coin, demanding that the law should cover ministers who favour a contractor and later get funds from the same contractor, an oblique reference to the BJP president whose interests in a private firm had recently landed him in a controversy.
Replying to the debate, Chidambaram said the amendments sought to enlarge the definition of predicate offences of money laundering and include activities which are defined as crime under various other laws.
On black money, he said, "We are taking action... every single piece of information (received from France and other countries) is being investigated" and more action would be taken.