CBDT denies summons issued to MPs on funds abroadNovember 1st, 2011 - 11:09 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 1 (IANS) The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Tuesday denied that any summons have been issued to MPs over unaccounted wealth in overseas bank accounts even as the issue sparked a war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.
Reacting to media reports about income tax authorities launching offensive against politicians and industrialists having accounts in Swiss banks, the BJP demanded that the government reveal “all 700 names” of Indians, given by France and detail the steps taken to bring the clandestine money back. The Congress retorted that the BJP was trying to score points on the issue.
The CBDT said investigations related to overseas bank accounts had not been referred to the Directorate of Criminal Investigation, as is being reported in the media.
“A section of the press has reported today (Tuesday) that some investigations relating to banking information received from overseas have been referred to the Directorate of Criminal Investigation by the Central Board of Direct Taxes for prosecution,” said a CBDT statement.
“It has also been reported that summons have been issued to some members of parliament. This information is factually incorrect and is therefore denied,” the apex tax body said.
Earlier, senior officials with the Income Tax department had said that it had started investigating 782 people suspected of having stashed away unaccounted wealth in accounts with the HSBC Bank in Geneva.
A senior official with the department, on condition of anonymity, said the newly-created Directorate of Criminal Investigation has started sending notices to individuals, seeking explanation on the source of funds in these HSBC Bank accounts in Geneva.
The information regarding these people, however, did not come from the Swiss government but was provided by the French, the official said.
On being asked about the list of people tax authorities were investigating, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said: “As and when the information is received, investigation starts, prosecution takes place and matter comes to the court.”
“Then, as per the existing treaty terms, we can reveal the names in cases of prosecution by the Income Tax department,” Mukherjee told reporters.
The list of 782 people allegedly includes names of businessmen and a few MPs.
BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman accused the government of making “half-hearted” attempts to unearth black money stashed abroad.
Referring to reports about Income Tax raids on some individuals who are alleged to have parked money in a Geneva bank and said the French government had given details regarding 700 such bank accounts.
“We suspect government’s intentions are not clean, open… Not only are we demanding that all 700 names be revealed but the government should issue a statement telling the country about the steps it had taken since it came to power in 2009 to get black money,” Sitharaman said.
Congress spokesman Manish Tewari, however, accused the BJP of trying to score brownie points on the issue and said the National Democratic Alliance government had not done enough on the issue.
“If they sincerely believed (in unearthing black money), they would have taken concrete and substantive measures in six years they were in office,” Tewari said.
In a meeting with economic editors in October, Mukherjee had said that the government had received information from France about Rs.400 crore unaccounted money in as many as 69 overseas accounts of Indians and had recovered Rs.30 crore in taxes from them.
Mukherjee said the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with France had helped India extract information regarding Indians having foreign bank accounts.
The government has been under pressure to act against people who have parked unaccounted money in various tax havens across the world. It had set up several bodies, including the directorate under the aegis of the CBDT, to unravel secret bank accounts abroad.
A senior income tax official admitted that notices were being sent to individuals, seeking explanation on the source of funds in these HSBC Bank accounts in Geneva.
- Parliamentary panel members seek status of black money cases - Nov 18, 2011
- We at G20 must tackle tax evasion: Manmohan - Nov 03, 2011
- Reveal names of foreign bank accounts holders: BJP - Nov 01, 2011
- India to join new convention to fight black money - Nov 04, 2011
- New directorate to probe financial crimes - May 30, 2011
- Government outlines measures to tackle black money - Aug 10, 2012
- Vodafone was told about tax liability in Hutchison deal - May 02, 2012
- Compulsory disclosure of overseas assets irks taxpayers - Jun 07, 2012
- Apex court appoints probe team on money laundering (Second Lead) - Jul 04, 2011
- BJP asks Centre to release names of black money account-holders - Apr 26, 2011
- Congress to NDA: Declare you have no illegal assets in India - Dec 14, 2011
- 'Black money should be brought back': Rahul Gandhi - Jan 29, 2011
- U.S. government seeks names of U.S. residents with HSBC India bank accounts to avoid taxes - Apr 08, 2011
- US wants HSBC to reveal American tax dodgers in India - Apr 08, 2011
- No tax returns on salaries up to Rs.5 lakh - Jun 23, 2011
Tags: anonymity, banking information, bharatiya janata party, bjp, cbdt, criminal investigation, direct taxes, hsbc bank, income tax authorities, industrialists, information received from, members of parliament, overseas bank accounts, senior officials, source of funds, summons, swiss banks, swiss government, unaccounted wealth, war of words