The Black Money Albatross Around Government’s Neck!
Narendra Modi had promised to get the money illegally stashed in foreign banks soon after coming to power and that if all the money could be back, each person could get Rs 23,000. But as nothing moved, this became the biggest handle to embarrass Modi.
Suddenly sun shines. The Swiss banks have assured full cooperation and that accounts will be released. The SIT appointed by the Supreme Court has started sitting and is trying to find evidence for prosecution. A list of 121 names was published by a newspaper. Now the Government is trying to verify about the list. It is said many well-known personalities are on the list, including politicians. The government is expected to disclose the names of close to 60 Indians and entities as it has recently initiated tax evasion prosecution proceedings against them as part of its crackdown on black money accounts as reported in the HSBC bank’s Geneva branch list. Sources said that those against whom legal action has been initiated include some corporates, business houses and other individuals as the Income Tax Department has completed its probe and has filed prosecution complaints against these entities, on the directions of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to tackle black money and illegal assets held by Indians abroad. They said that the total amount in these accounts is estimated to be to the tune of Rs 1,500-1,600 crore. Sources said the complaints, under I-T laws, have been filed in various courts of the country and investigations in these cases have been completed by the taxmen as these cases will get “time barred” by March 31 after which any legal action against them could not be carried out as the cases pertain to the period of 2008-2009.
“The disclosures of these names is part of the government’s commitment to curb cases of black money and of illegal funds stashed abroad by Indians. The I-T department aims to get conviction in these cases very fast,” they said. The SIT, headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Justice MB Shah, had said in its last report to the government and the Supreme Court in December 2014 that the black money holders names in HSBC Geneva list will be taken to their logical conclusion soon.