BJP questions govt''s ''reluctance'' to reveal Swiss a/c holders

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi/Bhubaneshwar, Jan 18 (PTI) Questioning thegovernment''s "reluctance" to reveal the identity of those whohave stashed black money in Swiss banks, the BJP today said itwill raise doubts about the integrity of people at the helmand demanded that the names be made public immediately.

"What is the problem and reluctance in the Congress inrevealing the names. Why this dogged refusal to reveal thenames of those who have accounts abroad.... The country has aright to know and expects the names to be made public," BJPspokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Party President Nitin Gadkari said instead of tryingto suppress facts, the government should publicise the namesparticularly after the Weakileaks report on the matter.

"UPA Government should, without any hesitation, makepublic names of all those who have stashed black money inSwiss Bank accounts," he told reporters in Bhubaneshwar.

The BJP has raised the pitch on the issue after theSupreme Court questioned the government for keeping underwraps the names of individuals who have stashed blackmoney inforeign banks and and whistleblower website Wikileaks saidthat a former Swiss banker had given it details of 2,000 suchaccount holders from US, Britain and Asia which it willrelease.

Senior BJP leader L K Advani hoped that the "SupremeCourt will take necessary steps and make it obligatory for thegovernment to bring the country''s money back."

Claiming that about Rs 21 lakh thousand crore had beendeposited in Swiss banks, Gadkari said, "Any reluctance indeclaring the names of Swiss bank account holders will simplyraise doubts about the integrity of people at the helm."

Asked what if names of BJP leaders may appear in thelist, Gadkari said action must be taken without anydiscrimination.

Claiming to have Swiss Bank account numbers of threepersons in the Bofors pay-off case, the BJP chief said a lotof information including alleged transfer of money to Italianbusinessman Ottavio Quattrocchi''s account came to light afterIncome Tax Appellate Tribunal order.

Prasad said "the government''s argument that it canreveal the names to the Supreme Court but not to the publicdue to double taxation is baseless.

"LGT Bank had told all names to Germany and theirgovernment had said it is ready to give these names," the BJPspokesperson said in New Delhi.

The principal opposition cited the example of HasanAli, a businessman from Pune. Prasad said Ali had shown anincome of Rs 30 Lakh but made profits worth Rs 36,000 crore.

"The Swiss banks had then said that if Hasan Ali isinvolved in money-laundering it will reveal the details. Butthe government kept quiet," Prasad alleged.

Prasad demanded that the government be "proactive ifits intentions are correct".

Asked what the BJP-led NDA regime had done in thisregard when it was in power, Prasad said, "We had taken stepsthen but that is not relevant now... We have been out of powerfor nearly seven years." He maintained that the UPA governmenthad to take appropriate action in this regard.

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