Govt to unveil strategy on black money tomorrow

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Jan 24 (PTI) Under attack from the SupremeCourt and the Opposition over stashing of large amount ofmoney in Swiss banks and other tax havens, the government willunveil its strategy to deal with the issue tomorrow.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will announce themeasures the UPA government intends to take to bring back theunaccounted money into the country and tighten the regulatoryand tax framework to prevent further illegal outflows.

"Finance Minister will hold a press conference on theissues related to black money tomorrow," Finance Ministryspokesman said.

The Supreme Court had pulled up the government forwithholding 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.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said there was "noinstant solution" to bring back blackmoney stashed in foreignbanks and that information with the government cannot be madepublic due to treaty obligations.

"There is no instant solution to bring back what iscalled blackmoney. We have got some information and that hasbeen provided to us for use in the collection of due taxes,"he had said.

The issue came for discussion at the last meeting of theUnion Cabinet during which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hadsaid that it was not possible to make specific details such asabout black money parked in Swiss banks.

Mukherjee had pointed out that the government hadreceived information about the black money accounts inforeign banks as per international treaties and if this isrevealed, no government would share such details in future.

It was emphasised at the Cabinet meeting that theinformation was shared purely for taxation purposes and thegovernment intends to do the same without making public thenames of account holders or other details.

The government had also appointed a Group of Minister(GoM), headed by Mukherjee, to suggest legislative andadministrative steps to deal with the menace of black money.

The GoM at its first meeting last week asked thegovernment to expedite the Lok Pal Bill. It also asked theCabinet Secretary to form two committees to go into thespecific issues concerning black money.

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