Switzerland Prepares List Of Indian 'Black Money' Holders
The Swiss government has prepared a list of Indians who have parked un-taxed wealth in Swiss banks and the details are being shared with India.
Correspondents say it is a major boost to India's fight against illicit money.
India recently set up a special task force to find “black money”, in one of the first decisions taken by the government of new PM Narendra Modi.
According to some estimates, Indians have some $500bn (£297bn) deposited in overseas tax havens.
“These individuals and entities are suspected to have held un-taxed money in Swiss banks through structures like trusts, domiciliary companies and other legal entities based out of countries other than India,” the Press Trust of India quoted a senior Swiss official as saying.
A member of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed last month by India to probe “black money” described it as a “breakthrough development”.
“Swiss authorities are preparing the list and will hand it over to the government which will then forward it to us for scrutiny. Our job will be made easier if it comes out to be what it looks like and we will take suitable action,” The Times of India quoted SIT vice-chairman Justice Arijit Pasayat as saying.
“This is a breakthrough development in the fight against black money. Till now, the impression was that Switzerland is creating hurdles in this battle. A very encouraging sign,” he added.
In the past, officials have said that illegal funds were often sent to tax havens such as Mauritius, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and the British Virgin Islands, among others.
The new government has said “unearthing black money is an important issue” for them.
Analysts say this flight of capital has helped widen inequality in India.
The former Congress party-led government had been on the back foot on the issue of “black money” and corruption.
The Supreme Court has also chided the government for not doing enough to unearth illicit money.