When in the year 2008, the BJP first raised the issue of Indian money stashed abroad in Swiss Banks, or other tax havens, we were ridiculed by Congress Party spokesmen. Why did you not pursue the matter when NDA was in office for six years, they asked. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh himself described it as an election stunt.
I feel happy therefore that for the first time in the history of the Indian Parliament the President’s Address itself has referred to this matter and told the joint session: “India is an active part of the global efforts to facilitate exchange of tax information and take action against tax evaders.”
In Parliament, both the Prime Minister and Finance Minister have not only conceded the significance of the issue but affirmed that Government is proactively pursuing the issue, and negotiating with twenty countries for exchange of information about Indian nationals who have hoarded their tax- evaded, or ill-earned wealth abroad.
The country, however, will not remain satisfied with just affirmations and announcements. Ever since the BJP has raised this matter two years back, Congress leaders have been pooh-poohing the estimates of Indian wealth abroad made by the BJP Task Force which studied the matter. A senior Congress Minister said these estimates were based on obscure sources on the internet.
The Task Force set up by the BJP comprised Shri S. Gurumurthy (Chartered Accountant and investigative writer, Chennai);