The Narendra Modi government's claims of fighting against black money has taken a major beating. The latest data released by the Swiss National Bank reveal that the amount deposited by Indians in the Swiss banks in the past one year has increased by 50 per cent.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy has hit out at the government for its failure in curbing generation of black money.
Writing on his Twitter handle, Swamy said, "Secret Swiss bank accounts deposits from global sources rose by three per cent in last 12 months. Indians' deposits however grew 50 per cent."
With deposits by Indians in Swiss banks surging, finance minister Piyush Goyal on Friday wondered how all of it can be assumed to be black money, but said strong action would be taken against anyone found guilty of wrongdoing.
India would start getting details of bank accounts from Switzerland under a bilateral treaty, he said.
Money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 per cent to CHF (Swiss franc) 1.01 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017, reversing a three-year downward trend amid India's clampdown on suspected black money stashed there.
The Opposition was also quick enough to cash in on this and has attacked the government for failing in its promises to curb black money.
The Congress in a tweet said, "One of PM Modi's long-standing campaign promises of bringing back black money falls flat. While you sit and wait for your promised Rs 15 lakh, more capital has flown the coop."
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Manish Tewari also hit out at the Centre. His tweet said, Rupee at 69, Indian deposits in Swiss Banks up 50%, US arm twisting India on Iran after snubbing It on 2+2 dialogue, Post Maldives- Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa warns India agnst interference in internal affairs, J&K up in Smoke & NDA/BJP busy leaking strike videos. Ache Din are here! G.Morn.
Tweeting a caricature on the development, the Aam Aadmi Party said the black money parked in foreign lands will not return in PM Modi's government.
General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Sitaram Yechury alleged that prime minister has no time or intention to remember the tall promises he made in 2014.
"From depositing 15 lakh in each bank account to making Rupee stronger to doubling farmers' income, he has only insulted and humiliated us Indians," he said in a tweet.
In another tweet, Yechury said the data is no surprise since the "Modi government writes off lakhs of crores of unpaid loans of crony corporate and businessmen flee India after looting public money under his watch".
Speaking in a similar vein, senior Supreme Court advocate and Swaraj Abhiyan leader Prashant Bhushan said:
Money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 per cent to 1.01 billion Swiss franc (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017. This was against a three-year downward trend and comes amid India's clampdown on suspected black money stashed in Switzerland.
In comparison, the total funds held by all foreign clients of Swiss banks rose about 3 per cent to 1.46 trillion Swiss franc or about Rs 100 lakh crore in 2017, according to the official annual data released today by Swiss National Bank (SNB), the central banking authority of the Alpine nation.
The surge in Indian money held with Swiss banks comes as a surprise given India's continuing clampdown on suspected black money stashed abroad, including in banks of Switzerland that used to be known for their famed secrecy walls for years.
The Indian money in Swiss banks had fallen by 45 per cent in 2016, marking their biggest ever yearly plunge, to 676 million Swiss franc (about Rs 4,500 crore) -- the lowest ever since the European nation began making the data public in 1987.
In comparison, the total funds held by all foreign clients of Swiss banks rose about 3 per cent to CHF 1.46 trillion or about Rs 100 lakh crore in 2017, according to data released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB), the central banking authority of the Alpine nation.
India has a treaty with Switzerland under which the Swiss government would provide all data from January 1, 2018 till December 31, 2018. India would get data as the accounting year ends, Goyal said.
Referring to the rise in Swiss bank deposits by Indians, Goyal said, "The data that you alluded to will come to us, so how are you assuming that this is black money or this is illegal transaction?"
Around 40 per cent of this money is because of the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS), Goyal said, citing media reports.
The scheme was introduced by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Under the LRS, an individual could remit up to $2,50,000 per year.
"We will have all information. If someone is found guilty, the government will take strong action against them," Goyal said.