Why has India not been able to crack down on the citizens who have stashed away huge amounts in the Swiss bank? Government of India says there isn’t enough information/evidence to indict the offenders. Point considered but what has the Government done in the last 5-6 years to find evidence? Leads have to be converted to evidence by the investigative authority. Isn’t it?
The latest we hear is that, the Government of India has a list of names who have accounts abroad but won’t reveal the names as it would breach the Treaty under which the names were extracted and beyond that the Government is concerned about the mutual trust that would be broken. Well, you don’t have to reveal the names; the least you could tell the citizens is what action has been taken? Answers come only when probed and those answers aren’t satisfactory. For instance, the concerned department in the Government is working on the papers to levy tax from the offenders. How long? Shouldn’t the Government be proactive in investigating such sensitive cases rather than make answers when quizzed?
Is this only tax evasion? Have these citizens only dodged paying their taxes? If it is only a case of tax evasion then yes the Government of India is bound by the double taxation treaty that doesn’t entitle to disclose the names. In which case, as the Government claims, it can only work on imposing the tax and rightful law for flouting the India Law. Recent media investigation clearly reveals that some of the offenders are not just tax offenders but have gone beyond.
When the media has evidence against certain people and their nexus with arms/gun dealers, cases of money laundering then aren’t these cases beyond tax evasion. Aren’t these potential cases of threat to National security? Is the government conveniently hiding behind the Double Taxation Treaty clauses and not doing enough? Shouldn’t the government be presenting a case of crime to the Swiss Government, when the information is requested beyond the norms of Double Taxation treaty by representing a strong case of International threat, can’t we reveal the names now? Why hasn’t India made such a representation yet? Government claims, ‘No Evidence’ to be placed before the International community, there is no strong case here.
Media says there is evidence, The Enforcement Directorate (ED) of India has done investigation and a report was available in 2009 against Mr.Hasan Ali, who had six-eight billion dollars in his account. Why can’t the Government pursue this one case where we have evidence and why can’t government work on procuring other information and evidence? Won’t one case lead to the other skeletons in the cloak? Isn’t it clear that the Government of India is not showing any will to move forward? If any action/investigation is being done as claimed by Government then it is on a snail’s pace. Shouldn’t the Government be transparent in their investigation? Now, the Government is proud to present a five point strategy to tackle tax evasion. Does it take 6 long years to come out with Strategy? If it takes 6 years for formulating a strategy then you can imagine when justice would be delivered. Why are we so slow?
It is completely understandable that a case of money laundering and stashing money in tax havens aboard is an International issue and involves many stakeholders. There might be many bottlenecks in the investigation process, yet the time period for execution doesn’t seem to be because of other dependencies rather it seems like inefficiency and lethargy of Government to act. One of the senior leaders in the Government on Talk show smirked at us, asking the Indians, “why you believe in the Swiss Government so much, what makes you think they will reveal the names so easily, even other powerful nations are struggling to get information from the Swiss, it is not as easy as you Indians believe.” To put it in his words, He said it is close to impossible to get the money back to India.
It doesn’t matter what the Swiss does, we are concerned about what India does. Have you requested for the information from the Swiss in the first place by presenting a factual true case. First let us do our bit then we can talk about the rest.
How do you expect us to believe you when all that we see is irregularities and corruption in running of the Government? Seeing is believing!