Black Money: Parl panel steps up pressure on Centre

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Black Money
New Delhi, Nov 19: With the black money issue spiraling into an issue that is sure to give the UPA sleepless nights, the Opposition and other parties are all set to tear into the Centre's happiness in the upcoming winter session of Parliament. There is immense pressure to disclose the 800 Indian tax evaders ahead of the Parliament session.

The Parliamentary Standing committee led by Yashwant Sinha has given the govt an ultimatum of 15 days to take tangible action on the black money issue. With the HSBC bank in Geneva in the centre of all the attention, there is increasing pressure for Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to share the information.

But the officials, according to reports have told the panel that it will share the status of prosecution and amount recovered from the secret overseas accounts. The names of the account holders cannot be revealed as there are binding agreements.

The Parliamentary panel is understood to have grilled the Finance Ministry Officials on the black money issue and given a 15-day deadline for action on tax evaders. The Ministry reasoned that the Attorney General had advised against making the tax evaders' name public. There are also eyebrows raised on why no prosecution action has been taken on the law breakers.

The MP's have also threatened to invoke privileges if the information was not shared. Pranab has however said that disclosing the names will bar banks in tax havens from giving out more names of defaulters. Sources within the Income Tax department revealed that raids on the tax evaders from the HSBC list has already been carried out and close to Rs 150 crore recovered.

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