Black money debate: Cong reacts to opposition's attack

Written by: Ria
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Pranab Mukherjee and LK Advani
New Delhi, Dec 14: Strongly opposing to senior BJP leader LK Advani's comments over black money issue, Congress MP Manish Tewari said that Advani's allegation was false as he slammed UPA government for not taking enough efforts to bring back the black money stashed away in foreign banks.

Accusing NDA of politicising the issue, Tewari claimed that UPA government has been taking action against those evading tax.

"It is wrong to say that the black money problem has been created by the UPA Government. This is a legacy issue," said Tewari. He pointed out that every third dollar in the world being invested is routed through some tax havens and the black money being generated in India is also huge.

Tewari stated, "Tax havens make laws simple and guarantee confidentiality and secrecy."

Continuing his attack on NDA, Tewari reiterated that "NDA does not intend to bring black money back to India but to politicise black money. This is not a UPA vs NDA debate. We also want that the black money in foreign banks should come back to India."

He clarified his point that there is no difference between black money in foreign banks and Indian Banks. "I appreciate NDA MPs giving undertaking that they do not have black money in foreign banks. They should give a similar undertaking for banks in India as well," said Tewari.

Reacting on black money issue, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that government could not quote any random figure on that issue. He claimed that he need authentic figures and centre had shared information with other countries over that issue.

Hitting back at Advani, Pranab said that Advani's interpretation was not correct as if the names are disclosed, the respective countries would not share more information with India according to the treaty.

Tewari raised tax evader Hasan Ali's case and said, "France gave information about 70 people,who were made to pay the tax due on them and action taken against the guilty."

After FDI in Retail and Strong Lokpal bill issue, the Opposition had slammed centre on black money issue. Advani had said, "We should recognise that because we haven't taken any action against the guilty in the black money cases, we are being seen as a soft state." He also called the black money issue as a part of corruption.

Citing a report of the Global Financial Integrity on black money, Advani declared that "Indians have an amount of Rs 25 lakh crore black money is in Swiss banks."

He also appealed the government to reveal the names given by french government. "It will be shameful if we come to know about these through some whistleblower like Julian Assange of Wikileaks did some time back," he had said.

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