NEW DELHI:The Congress on Friday demanded that the government make a full disclosure of the nature of black money and names of the individuals who have stashed it in Swiss banks, and asked it to bring a white paper on how much of it has been brought back to the country in the last seven years.
Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said the government should also come out with a complete list of measures that it has undertaken to check the stashing of black money in foreign banks.
The demand came after Switzerland’s national bank — Swiss National Bank (SNB) — released data of funds parked in Swiss banks that showed that deposits by Indians increased to 286 per cent in 2020, the highest in the last 13 years.
Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also demanded answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his promise to bring back black money and shared a video of the PM before he assumed power.
“Money deposited in Swiss banks is now Rs 20,700 crore. 286 per cent increase between the year 2019-20, the maximum money in Swiss banks in last 13 years.
“Modiji please reply — What happened to the promise to bring back black money in three years? It’s been seven years now. Is there no will power or money belongs to friends?” he asked on Twitter.
Vallabh said the divide between the rich and the poor has widened in the country under the Modi government as this disclosure comes at a time when the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) says close to 97 per cent Indians became poorer during the last year and on the other hand, the data of funds in Swiss banks for 2020 shows another side.
“The Congress party demands that the Modi government provide a full disclosure of the nature of this money, the names and details of individuals who have stashed money in Swiss banks in the last year.
“We demand that the Modi government bring a white paper providing details of how much black money has been brought back and from which country in the last seven years.
“It should also come out with a complete list of measures that it has undertaken to check the stashing of black money in foreign banks,” he told reporters at a virtual press conference.
Vallabh said in the last seven years, the government has been all talk and no action.
“Why is the Modi government not prepared to share the names of the individuals who have moved money to Swiss banks in the last year? While 97 per cent Indians have become poorer, who are these people who are availing ‘aapda mein avsar’ (opportunity in disaster).
“With such tall promises in 2014, what are the attempts being made by the government to bring back black money and how much black money has been brought back and from which country in the last seven years? What has the Modi government done to control the stashing of black money in foreign accounts?” he asked.
Funds parked by Indian individuals and firms in Swiss banks, including through India-based branches and other financial institutions, jumped to 2.55 billion Swiss francs (over Rs 20,700 crore) in 2020 on a sharp surge in holdings via securities and similar instruments, though customer deposits fell, the annual data from Switzerland’s central bank showed.
The increase in the aggregate funds of Indian clients with Swiss banks, from 899 million Swiss francs (Rs 6,625 crore) at the end of 2019, reverses a two-year declining trend and has taken the figure to the highest level in 13 years.
It stood at a record high of nearly 6.5 billion Swiss francs in 2006, after which it has mostly been on a downward path, except for a few years including in 2011, 2013 and 2017, according to the SNB data.
Vallabh alleged that a bigger revelation comes from the data of the Bank for International Settlement (BIS), which says deposits by Indian individuals in Swiss banks rose by 39 per cent in 2020 as compared to 2019.