Notices served on 17 Indians over black money abroad: Mukherjee

Saturday, February 5, 2011

KOLKATA - Notices have been served on 17 Indians suspected of having stashed black money in tax havens abroad but it will not be possible to reveal their names as yet, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here Saturday.

“We have received a few names. We have already served notices on 17 persons and prosecution has begun,” Mukherjee told reporters here.

“But the government suo motu can’t reveal the names. According to the treaty, we can only use the information for taxation purposes.”

He said the names would be revealed in court when the matter comes up for prosecution.

Mukherjee’s remarks come against the backdrop of his statement last month that secrecy clauses in treaties with other countries were preventing the government from disclosing the names of Indians with black money abroad, estimated at $462 billion to $1.4 trillion.

“We have nothing to hide. But there are legal provisions,” he had said in New Delhi Jan 25, called at the behest of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to clarify the government position on black money and steps taken to bring it back.

Mukherjee had also said the government had submitted the names of some suspected offenders in a sealed cover to the Supreme Court, which asked the executive to be more serious on black money as it constituted a plunder of the nation’s wealth.

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