Black money info will embarrass Cong: Jaitley

Black money info will embarrass Cong: Jaitley

Hot on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stand that the government will disclose names of some  persons under probe for stashing black money abroad, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday quipped, “the Congress would be embarrassed by the names when we reveal them in court.”

Jaitley said in a TV interview that the government had never said that it would not reveal the names of Indians who have undeclared income parked in foreign bank accounts.

All that the government said was that treaties with other countries forbid the disclosure of names till charges are framed in court, Jaitley said. He underlined that this process would not take much time.

“Once we inform the court, the names will automatically be  in public domain. The media and Congress got this story all wrong,” he told NDTV, adding that it’s the Congress which needs to worry, not the BJP.

Jaitley said the tax treaties that compel confidentiality at this stage of investigation were signed by the Congress government in 1995.

A separate list of at least 500 Indians who held accounts at HSBC in Switzerland was scrutinised by the government, Jaitley said.

“Switzerland has agreed to share information about those Indians against whom evidence has already been collected in India by tax officials. Given Switzerland’s confidentiality rules, this is a major breakthrough,” he said.

The BJP came under flak from the Congress and other parties after the government told the Supreme Court that it cannot yet make public a list handed over by Germany in 2009 of Indians with accounts in the tax haven of Lichtenstein. The information cannot be disclosed until probe was completed and cases filed in court, the government had said.

The Congress charged the BJP with hoodwinking the people by making black money one of its major poll planks in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections and promising to bring back the money from foreign banks.

Rejecting allegations of a U-turn by the government, Jaitley  said the NDA government would not withhold any information, including the names of account holders.

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