New Delhi, June 30: What's the colour of money--black or white? Going by the ongoing debate over "black and white" money, the Indian currency, the "poor" rupee, which has crashed to a lifetime low of 69 against the US dollar recently, has definitely turned "grey".
On Friday, after reports suggested that money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 per cent to Rs 7,000 crore in 2017, the Opposition trained its guns on the ruling Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
In fact, fight against black money was one of the main issues of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. The BJP had campaigned relentlessly against the then ruling Congress government over various corruption charges.
During his campaign rallies before the general elections last time, then Gujarat chief minister Modi promised to bring back billions of black money allegedly stashed in various Swiss banks. Modi, who was the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP in 2014 elections, also promised to deposit Rs 15 lakh each in the bank account of every Indian if his party is voted to power.
Years after Modi made the big promises, neither India got back the black money from the foreign shores, nor the bank accounts of voters had the blessing of seeing Rs 15 lakh each.
In 2016, when the BJP government announced its controversial decision of demonetisation it stated that the step was taken to fight against black money, corruption and funding of terror groups.
Even demonetisation too has failed as all the currency scrapped by the ruling regime has come back to the banking system again as per the data.
In its defence, on Friday, the BJP said that the new figure of astronomical rise of money being parked in various Swiss banks by Indians may not be all "black".
Union minister Piyush Goyal told reporters in the national capital that India will get all data on black money from Switzerland by the end of fiscal 2019. "We will have all the information and if anybody is found guilty, strict action will be taken," Goyal said.
"Today, nobody has the guts to save money outside the country. And it has been possible only because of the government's hard work," the interim finance minister said.
But the Congress was in no mood to buy the BJP government's defence as it allegedly failed to fight against the menace of black money and stop Indians from depositing their cash in foreign banks.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted and attacked the Modi government on the issue of black money.
2014, HE said: I will bring back all the "BLACK" money in Swiss Banks & put 15 Lakhs in each Indian bank A/C.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 29, 2018
2016, HE said: Demonetisation will cure India of "BLACK" money.
2018, HE says: 50% jump in Swiss Bank deposits by Indians, is "WHITE" money. No "BLACK" in Swiss Banks! pic.twitter.com/7AIgT529ST
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley slammed the Opposition for attacking the BJP government over black money.
"To assume that all the deposits are per se tax evaded money or that Switzerland in the matter of illegal deposits is what it was decades ago, is to start on a shaky presumption," the former finance minister said in a blog.
Any illegal depositor in Swiss Bank knows that it is a matter of months before his name becomes public and he will be subjected to the harsh penal provisions of the Black money law in India.— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) June 29, 2018
The critics and opposition parties seem to be not at all convinced by the theories put forward by the cabinet colleagues of PM Modi on the issue of black money and corruption. They took to Twitter to attack the ruling regime at the Centre. Here we bring you some tweets:
The Modi Govt has been making repeated claims of bringing back black money since 2014 and even justified demonetisation on the same lines.— Congress (@INCIndia) June 29, 2018
This jumla has been now postponed to 2019.#WahModijiWahhttps://t.co/lRINwi2dzi
I was wrong in criticising demonetization. It has completely stopped stone pelting in Kashmir and ended black money in India and Switzerland?— Yashwant Sinha (@YashwantSinha) June 28, 2018
All money in Swiss banks during UPA reign was black money & all money in Swiss Banks during NDA/BJP time is white as driven snow. Even Goebbelsian would be restlessly tossing in it’s grave. Shubh Prabhtam Bandhu-on . pic.twitter.com/kMjfAcUIyS— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) June 30, 2018
Original Jumla was that Black Money will come back within 100 days...— Dhruv Rathee (@dhruv_rathee) June 29, 2018
Then they said 1 year..
Then 2 years ..
3 years ...
Now, they want to get votes in 2019 on the same Jumla once again!
Who is stupid enough to get fooled by this? https://t.co/9ujvAZtEqN
Agree, It's responsibility of Every Opposition party to bring back Black Money from Swiss Banks. https://t.co/5xWoJqJ9Er— Unofficial Sususwamy (@swamv39) June 29, 2018