India for transparency in dealing with secret bank accounts

March 30th, 2009 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) India has no action plan yet on how to get information on money allegedly stashed away by its nationals in secret bank accounts abroad, but its position is that there must be transparency in such disclosures, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said Monday.
Briefing reporters on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to London for the G20 summit on April 2, the foreign secretary said demands were being made by some countries, and in international fora, for transparent system of disclosures by banking authorities.

“But I don’t think we have come to a final decision yet on how to do it or which is the best way to approach it,” he replied, when queried if the prime minister had any definite plan to approach the subject at the summit.

Opposition parties, including the Janata Dal-United, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, and of late the Bharatiya Janata Party, have asked the government to write to the Swiss authorities to shed their secrecy clauses and disclose the names of Indians who have accounts in Swiss banks - which may have come from illegal sources.

The opposition also claimed India tops the list of countries whose citizens have deposited monies in Swiss banks and that the government there must be urged to reveal the names.

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