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Congress accuses Modi of failing to bring back 'black money'

The Opposition party cited data showing that Indian deposits in Swiss banks have risen to a 13-year high

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 19.06.21, 02:56 AM
Gourav Vallabh

Gourav Vallabh File picture

The Congress on Friday cited data showing that Indian deposits in Swiss banks have risen to a 13-year high to accuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi of failing to deliver on his 2014 promise to bring back black money stashed by Indians abroad.

Pointing out that Swiss bank deposits by Indians increased by 286 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019, Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said: “Why is the government not prepared to share names of individuals who have moved the money to Swiss banks in the last year? What has the government done to bring back black money in the last seven years? What has the government done to control the stashing of black money in foreign accounts?”


In his election campaign before becoming Prime Minister for the first time, Modi had talked of specific plans to bring back black money, citing astronomical figures that he said would enable the government to put Rs 15 lakh in the account of every citizen. This was arguably the most alluring election promise he made, which Amit Shah, who was then BJP president and is now Union minister, later dismissed as “jumla (empty rhetoric)”. The government set up a task force on black money, whose outcome is not known after seven years.

The government had also claimed that demonetisation would wipe out the menace of black money.

Data released by the Swiss National Bank have revealed that Indian deposits have touched a 13-year-high. While the deposits in 2019 amounted to Rs 7,200 crore, the figure jumped to Rs 20,706 crore in 2020. Even the deposits by individuals increased by 39 per cent.

The Congress pointed to the ill-effects of Modi’s governance by citing the data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy which suggested 97 per cent people became poorer in the last one year. “This, seen in the context of larger amounts of money parked in Swiss banks, tells a disturbing story,” Vallabh said.

Arguing that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the Modi government was interested in bringing back black money, Vallabh said: “The Congress demands that the Modi government provide a full disclosure of the nature of this money, names and details of individuals who have stashed money in Swiss banks in the last year. The Modi government should also come out with complete measures that it has undertaken to check stashing of black money in foreign banks and how much black money has been brought back and from which country in the last seven years.”

Party communications chief Randeep Surjewala tweeted: “Who deposited such a huge amount in Swiss banks during the pandemic when majority of Indians became poorer? What has Modi done to bring back black money? Is there a lack of political will or the money belongs to friends?”

Surjewala also posted an old video in which Modi, before he became the Prime Minister, said: “If the (UPA) government has the guts, make a law in Parliament. We will bring back money from any corner of the world and distribute it among the poor. But they don’t want to do it because they will be caught. This sin has been committed by their party (Congress) leaders.”

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