Figures on black money abroad are bogus: PM

April 11th, 2009 - 12:20 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday described as “bogus” the figures Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani has furnished of black money Indians have allegedly stashed away abroad, saying the party suffered from “bankruptcy in economic thinking”.
At an interaction with women journalists Friday, Manmohan Singh said Advani’s figure of up to $1.4 trillion of black money being stashed by Indians in Swiss banks and other tax havens was “bogus”.

“L.K. Advani and his party have promised low interest rates and low tax rates in the context that they will mobilize large amounts of money from these foreign funds. That is wishful thinking,” the prime minister maintained.

He went on to say this demonstrated the “bankruptcy of economic thinking in the BJP”.

Manmohan Singh pointed out that at last week’s G-20 summit in London “every effort was made to ensure that the banking system functions as openly as possible”.

“The tax havens are being asked to function in a manner which will ensure that people who want to keep their black money will find it difficult to do so. If the G-20 initiative succeeds, and that is only possible if there is an international agreement, then we will push for it,” the prime minister said.

He said that the current challenge before the government was that the global recession has the “least undesirable effect on our economy”.

Manmohan Singh then reeled off figures to maintain there was more economic growth overall and in specific sectors like agriculture during the last five years, compared to that during the tenure of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government.

“This year, we expect 6.5 to 7 percent growth despite the onset of recession,” the prime minister asserted, adding: “Economic management is an art.”

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