"Just because my name has appeared there doesn't mean anything", minister Jayant Sinha said
Union minister Jayant Sinha today spoke for the first time about his name appearing in Paradise Papers - the global expose on tax evasion released worldwide last week - and said it was "a completely bogus ...sort of..fact."
In Kolkata, on the anniversary of the notes ban, Mr Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, said his name showed up because before he joined public life, he worked with a leading investment venture capital firm that was invested in a company called D.Light Designs which had a Cayman Island subsidiary.
Cayman Island in the Caribbean is a popular destination to park funds that may not be entirely clean, in short a tax haven.
"As a representative and member of the D.Light board, I signed papers so D.Light could borrow money from another reputable firm. This had nothing to do with me personally at all," Mr Sinha said.
"The whole question of people doing tax evasion off shore is about people using shell companies in offshore tax havens to avoid paying tax in their home countries... In this particular case, my personal situation had nothing to do with it at all," he added.
He also said, "Just because my name has appeared there doesn't mean anything. It means you do global business, you deal with certain jurisdictions in certain ways and that's all that I was doing and I have provided full clarification. Of course all necessary disclosures, all necessary filing was obviously done because I was working in a completely and above board, honest transparent way."
The Congress has been demanding action against Mr Sinha and others named in the Paradise Papers. There are 714 names of Indian nationals in the papers.