India is in the forefront of global efforts to fight the menace of black money through automatic exchange of tax information, for which initiatives had been taken at various global fora such as the G-20, the OECD and FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) proposed by the United States, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Now countries were cooperating not only on crime money but also on tax evasion money.
He said the U.S. was signing the FATCA agreement with countries and if India did not sign it, not just the U.S. but other countries too would impose a 30 per cent withholding tax on all remittances to India.
Therefore, there was global pressure for automatic exchange of information.
Responding to demand from several members for making the names of offenders public, Mr. Jaitley said if the government were to be “adventurist” in making names public without evidence, then it would be a “one-day thrill” but that would go to the advantage of the account holders as the countries which had to cooperate in giving evidence would back off and offenders would go scot-free.
“Names can be revealed when evidence is collected, assessment is complete and charge sheet is filed in court.” The 427 persons on the black money list identified were being investigated and evidence collected.
Of the 28 or 27 people who held accounts in Liechtenstein banks, some were being prosecuted. Their names would be revealed to the court, he said.