The Minister did not comment on the nature of the request nor any other detail.

Voices Tuesday, April 07, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | June 29, 2014 | 13:32 PM IST Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said a new request seeking assistance from the Swiss government on black money and related issues has been sent this week.  “It is a fresh request and is not connected with the old one,” Jaitley told The News Minute (TNM) in a brief conversation. He also said no time frame was fixed and it was now for the Swiss to take a call. The Minister did not comment on the nature of the request nor any other detail.  Since exchange of information between the two countries has been a sustained one in the past year, it is possible that the fresh request includes names of people who fulfil the criteria set by the Swiss to exchange bank information with third countries.  The Swiss Federal Finance Office had confirmed the same to TNM last week without divulging any details.  What comes through from various conversations with officials in India and Switzerland is that the list now being studied by the Swiss government may include names stolen earlier from a bank, but probably with new and additional investigation done with them. A few names had already been sent to India in the final weeks of the previous government.  The Narendra Modi government has declared that bringing money held outside the country will be brought back post haste and the setting up of the Special Investigating Team (SIT) in their first in power speaks to that commitment. A report by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) last week said Indian money in Swiss banks had risen to over $2 billion Swiss francs (nearly INR 14000 crore). This was a 40 percent increase from the previous year where the money stood at $1.42 billion. Legitimate business is also part of this corpus.  Switzerland is one among a handful of tax havens where illegal and ill-gotten monies are kept in banks. Over the past years, especially the last one, the country has been under tremendous pressure to inform countries through a process of automatic transfer of names and details of persons from third countries with undeclared accounts in Switzerland.

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.