New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) The NDA government will not withhold any information on black money or the names of account holders in tax havens, but the latter will be revealed after “following due procedure”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Saturday.
“I am a little surprised by some of the headlines in today’s newspapers which state that the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government has done a U turn on the issue of black money stacked up in Swiss bank accounts. Nothing can be farther from the truth,” Jaitley said in an article published on his Facebook page.
“Let me begin by saying that the NDA government will not withhold any information, including names of account holders who have stashed black money abroad, from the public,” he said.
The minister however noted a procedure has to be followed.
“…but the names will be revealed after following the due process of completing investigations and reaching conclusions about quantum of unaccounted money… After doing so, all the information including the names of account holders will become public when quoted in court proceedings arising from complaints to be filed by the Income Tax Department against tax offenders,” he said.
Jaitley also said that any “premature and out of court disclosure” of the names of account holders would not only “vitiate the investigations but will enable such account holders to get away with their offences”.
“It will also violate India’s Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAA) with other countries and will choke receipt of all further information from those countries,” he said.
The NDA government, soon after it assumed office, announced a SIT to probe black money stashed in banks abroad and make a list of such account holders.
Jaitley said the SIT “has been effectively functioning since then”.
Giving details, the minister said Oct 15, a team of officials led by the revenue secretary signed a joint statement with the appropriate authorities in Switzerland on investigation into black money stashed in banks there.