‘Won’t be pushed into adventurism’
Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday rejected the suggestion that the NDA government had done a U-turn on the black money issue and insisted that the government was “not going to be pushed into an act of adventurism” that could jeopardise future cooperation from the reciprocating states.
Stating that the present NDA government had unfortunately inherited the legacy of the double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA), Jaitley said if New Delhi scraps the treaty, it gets no further information. “The covenant to the treaty is that the names of the account holders and information received there will only be disclosed when charges are filed in court. They obviously cannot be utilized for political propaganda or for political mileage,” he said.
The Centre had contended in the Supreme Court on Friday that it could not disclose all information as the countries with which India had signed the DTAA, have objected to making them public.
The minister said names of those having illicit money abroad will be made public in accordance with the existing due process of law. “If that process is violated, you will never get to know the names in future. The NDA government stands committed to detecting the names, prosecuting the guilty and making them public,” he argued.
He added that the government “will not” withhold any information, including names of account holders who have stashed black money abroad, from the public; but the names will be revealed after following the due process of completing investigations and reaching conclusions about quantum of unaccounted money.
“Any premature and out-of-court disclosure of the names would not only vitiate the investigations but will enable such account holders to get away with their offences,” he said.