This Article is From Jun 23, 2014

No Information on Black Money List from Switzerland, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

No Information on Black Money List from Switzerland, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley (L) listens to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan during a financial stability development council meeting in Mumbai June 7, 2014.

New Delhi: The government has not received any communication from Switzerland about "black money" suspected to be stashed in Swiss banks, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

His comments followed media reports that Switzerland is ready to share with India a list of names of Indian account holders who they suspect of not paying taxes. The minister said he is writing to the Swiss authorities today to "expedite the process of sharing the information".

Over the weekend, the Press Trust of India  quoted an unidentified Swiss government official  as saying a list had been readied and that,"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 report said the official had not revealed the identity of the alleged bank account holders, or the amount of undeclared money placed by them in Swiss banks.

"Switzerland understands and shares India's wish to fight tax evasion and is committed to complying with the relating international standards," the Swiss Embassy said in a statement today.

After being voted to power, the new Narendra Modi government set up a Special Investigating Team or SIT with 11 members to help identify Indians who have placed undeclared and untaxed income in Switzerland.  The team is headed by Justice MB Shah, a former Supreme Court judge.

The Supreme Court had in 2011 ordered that a committee that includes two retired judges be appointed to blueprint an agenda for how to bring back money from secret bank accounts abroad. The previous government of Dr Manmohan Singh had resisted this, alleging that a court-monitored investigation was unnecessary because agencies like the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate were handling the inquiry. That stand irked the Supreme Court, which censured the government at a series of hearings.