FM Goyal promises action against any black money in Swiss accounts; says surge normal

Strong action will be taken against those holding funds abroad illegally, the government said on Friday and challenged talk of a surge in black money prompted by data showing that money parked by Indians in Swiss banks had increased sharply in 2017.

  • Published 29.06.18
  •  
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi, Jun. 29 (Agencies): Strong action will be taken against those holding funds abroad illegally, the government said on Friday and challenged talk of a surge in black money prompted by data showing that money parked by Indians in Swiss banks had increased sharply in 2017.

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal wondered how all of it could be assumed to be black money.

“The data … will come to us, so how are you assuming that this is black money or this is illegal transaction?” he said.

Goyal, holding additional charge of finance as Arun Jaitley recovers from a surgery, said India would get details of bank accounts from Switzerland under a bilateral treaty.

”We will have all information. If someone is found guilty, the government will take strong action,” Goyal said.

Money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 per cent to CHF 1.01 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017, reversing a three-year downward trend after India clamped down on black money stashed abroad.

In comparison, the total funds held by all foreign clients of Swiss banks rose about three per cent, the Swiss National Bank said.

Under India’s treaty with Switzerland, it will get all the data from January 1, 2018, till December 31, 2018, the end of the Swiss accounting year.

Goyal said around 40 per cent of this money is because of the Liberalised Remittance Scheme. The LRS was introduced by P. Chidambaram when he was finance minister in the Congress-led UPA government. Under the LRS, an individual could remit up to $2,50,000 per year.

About
Author