According to reports, Sachin Tendulkar and his family members are named as beneficial owners of an offshore entity, which was liquidated in 2016.

Former Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar during a practice session ahead of Road Safety World Series tournament, at CCI in Mumbai, on March 6, 2020. He is wearing a cap and blue t-shirt, with a frown on his face.PTI
news Controversy Monday, October 04, 2021 - 20:09

Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has been named in the Pandora Papers investigation, which was published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), according to a report published by the Indian Express. The report states that Sachin and his family members are named as beneficial owners of an offshore entity, and this was liquidated in 2016. Those named include his wife Anjali Tendulkar and father-in-law, Anand Mehta. It was purportedly liquidated three months after the Panama Papers expose in April 2016.

Sachin Tendulkar's attorney said the cricket player's investment is legitimate and has been declared to tax authorities. In response to the paper, Mrinmoy Mukherjee, CEO and Director of Sachin Tendulkar Foundation, said that the investment was accounted for and declared in tax returns, and stressed that it was legitimate.

“We reiterate that the investment by Mr Tendulkar has been legitimately made through banking channels from India and has been declared to the income tax authorities. Further, the amount of Rs 60 crore as quoted by you is grossly incorrect, but regardless, all amounts received by Mr Tendulkar on liquidation of the investment have also been declared in his tax returns,” the statement to Indian Express reads.

The ICIJ obtained the trove of more than 11.9 million confidential files and led a team of more than 600 journalists from 150 news outlets that spent two years sifting through them, tracking down hard-to-find sources and digging into court records and other public documents from dozens of countries.

"In most countries, it is not illegal to have assets offshore or to use shell companies to do business across national borders. Businesspeople who operate internationally say they need offshore companies to conduct their financial affairs. But these affairs often amount to shifting profits from high-tax countries, where they are earned, to companies that exist only on paper in low-tax jurisdictions.Using offshore shelters is especially controversial for political figures because they can be used to keep politically unpopular or even illicit activities from public view," the ICIJ said.

Hundreds of wealthy Indians, including business people, figure in the 'Pandora Papers' that has uncovered the financial assets of rich individuals across the world. Many of the Indians have rejected allegations of misdoings.

More than 300 Indian names are part of the list. Anil Ambani, Vinod Adani, Jackie Shroff, Niira Radia and Satish Sharma, among others, figure in the list of Indians in the 'Pandora Papers' revealed so far.

Rights group Oxfam India has called for immediate action by authorities and abolishing tax havens following the expose of the 'Pandora Papers'.

"Tax havens cost governments around the world USD 427 billion each year. Developing countries are being hardest hit, proportionately. Corporations and the wealthiest individuals that use tax havens are out-competing those who don't. Tax havens also help crime and corruption to flourish," Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar said.

Abolishing tax havens can go a long way towards ensuring that governments actually have the access to tax revenue they need to fund quality public expenditure, he added.

With input from agencies

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