Latest data from the Swiss National Bank showed that money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50% to CHF 1.01 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017, reversing a three-year downward trend amid India’s clampdown on suspected black money stashed by its citizens overseas.
“A news item has appeared today indicating an increase of money by ‘Indians’ in the Swiss banking system. This has led to a misinformed reaction in certain circles raising a query whether the government’s anti-black money steps have yielded results,” Jaitley said in a blog.
Noting that Switzerland in financial disclosures was always a reluctant state, Jaitley said the Alpine nation 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 would 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,” said the senior BJP leader and an eminent lawyer.
Further, Jaitley said those who participate in a public discourse must understand these basic facts before expressing an opinion which may be ill-informed.
“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.
According to Jaitley, past investigations by the tax department have shown that this includes funds held by persons of Indian origin who now hold foreign passport and monies belonging to Non-Resident Indians. There were also monies belonging to resident Indians who have made legitimate investments abroad, including the transfer of money under the liberalised remittance scheme.
Jaitley, who was Finance Minister, is currently a Minister without any portfolio as he is recuperating after a kidney transplant operation.