Cabinet discusses black money issue

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Jan 20 (PTI) A day after the government cameunder attack from the Supreme Court over black money stashedabroad, several Ministers today voiced concern over the issueat the Union Cabinet meeting here but Prime Minister ManmohanSingh made it clear that the details could not be disclosed.

The Ministers noted that the government was facing theflak from virtually all quarters and the impression wasgaining ground that the government had something to hide onthe issue, sources said.

At the meeting, Singh pointed out that the governmentcould not disclose the names about whom it had informationregarding accounts in foreign banks as it was bound byvarious treaties.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the governmenthad received information about the black money accounts inforeign banks as per international treaties and if this isrevealed, no government would share such details in future,the sources said.

It was emphasised that the information was shared purelyfor taxation purposes and the government intends to do thesame without making public the names of account holders orother details, the sources said.

Mukherjee said he would soon hold a press conference toclear the air on the issue.

The Supreme Court yesterday pulled up the government forwitholding information on black money stashed in foreignbanks, saying it is not just limited to tax evasion but a"mind boggling crime" amounting to "theft" and "plunder" ofnational wealth having security ramifications.

Hours later, the Prime Minister said "some information"about black money accounts had been provided to India "for usein the collection of due taxes. We cannot use the informationfor any other purposes and that information cannot be madepublic" as the country cannot violate the obligations underinternational treaties.

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