Cabinet approves five more pacts to bring back black money

New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) India can now sign treaties withfive more countries in its pursuit to bring back black moneystashed abroad with the Cabinet today approving such pacts.

Under the agreements, India can seek informationregarding secret bank accounts. The five countries includeMalta, Georgia and Uruguay, sources said.

India has already signed Double Taxation AvoidanceAgreements (DTAAs) with 79 countries and modifications in suchpacts were needed in 74 of them to broaden the scope ofarticle of exchange of information to include exchange ofbanking information.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee earlier this monthsaid negotiations for a total of 23 pacts in line withinternational standards have been completed and 10 for TaxInformation Exchange Agreements (TIEAs).

Government has been under attack from the Oppositionwhich has been alleging that it was not doing enough toretrieve the black money.

Government has been insisting that it has been makingall efforts to bring back the black money but it was going tobe a long haul.

Detailing the steps being taken, Mukherjee recently saidthat government has formulated a five-pronged strategy tocombat the menace of illicit funds generated both as a resultof tax evasion and corruption.

He said during the last 18 months, the government hadcollected tax on black money to the tune of Rs 34,601 croreand detected undisclosed income of about Rs 15,000 crore. PTIAMR NAM NAB AKK MS

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