Money deposited in Swiss banks not entirely black money: Arun Jaitley

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday broke his silence on ongoing debate over the Swiss bank revelation on money deposits by Indians and claimed that all the money deposited in Swiss bank is not entirely “black”. 

This comes after latest Swiss Bank data revealed that the monetary deposits by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50% to Rs 7,000 crore in 2017. As per the data, the Indian money in Swiss banks included CHF464 million (₹3,200 crore) in the form of customer deposits, CHF152 million (₹1,050 crore) through other banks and CHF383 million (₹2,640 crore) as ‘other liabilities’ such as securities at the end of 2017.

Defending the same, Jaitley said that “Switzerland has entered into several bilateral treaties for making disclosures to requesting States. It has amended its domestic laws involving all disclosures and entered into a treaty even with India and real time flow of information with regard to Indians will be made”.

“The flow of information is starting in January, 2019. Any illegal depositor 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” FM added.

He further said that “Past investigation by CBDT have shown that this includes many held by persons of Indian origin who now hold foreign passport, monies belonging to Non-Resident Indians, as also monies belonging to resident Indians who have made legitimate investments abroad, including transfer of money under the liberalised remittance schemes. It is only monies kept by resident Indian outside these categories which become actionable. The first two categories are within the jurisdiction of those countries where these persons are residents and the third category can easily be checked up in India”.

‘Switzerland is changing policies’:  

Defending the money held in Swiss banks and the latest Swiss bank data, FM said, “Switzerland has taken significant efforts to get out of the image of being a tax haven and a non-compliant State. It is on the verge of making disclosures in real time and, therefore, is no longer an ideal destination for tax evaders”.

“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” he added.

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