Centre to unveil strategy on black money today

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

NEW DELHI - Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is expected to outline the government’s strategy to tackle the black money issue and indicate administrative and legislative steps taken so far by the government to deal with this growing menace.

A Finance Ministry spokesman said Mukherjee will hold a press conference here today on the issues related to black money.

The government had also appointed a Group of Minister (GoM), headed by Mukherjee, to suggest legislative and administrative steps to deal with the menace of black money.

The GoM at its first meeting last week asked the government to expedite the Lok Pal Bill.

The Supreme Court had earlier criticized the Government of India for its handling of black money deposited by industrialists and others in foreign bank accounts.

“It is a pure and simple theft of the national money. We are talking about mind-boggling crime. We are not on the niceties of various treaties,” said an apex-court bench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar, while hearing a petition filed by former Law Minister Ram Jethmalani and others to retrieve black money being held in foreign banks.

Earlier, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had said there was no instant solution to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks and that information with the government cannot be made public due to treaty obligations.

“There is no instant solution to bring back what is called black money. We have got some information and that has been provided to us for use in the collection of due taxes,” he had added.

According to the data provided by the Swiss bank, India has more black money than rest of the world combined.

UK has 390 billion dollars in black money, Russia has 470 billion dollars and India tops the list with almost 1500 billion dollars. (ANI)

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