After the Opposition launched a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi government over 50 per cent increase in the Indian money stashed in Swiss Banks on Friday, Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal claimed the government would get all details related to the black money accounts from Switzerland by end of the fiscal year 2019. According to the official annual data released by Swiss National Bank (SNB) on Thursday, money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose to CHF 1.01 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017. A year before, the money deposited by Indians had touched an all-time low of CHF (Confoederatio Helvetica Franc) 676 million-- its highest ever fall since Switzerland started making financial data public in 1987.
The Interim Finance Minister told reporters on Friday that the government was committed to curbing black money. "We will have all the info and if anybody is found guilty, strict action will be taken. Today, nobody has the guts to save money outside the country. And it has been possible only because of the government's hard work."
Goyal said India and Switzerland have signed a pact under which the Alpine nation would share the details with India. He also said it should not be assumed that all the money deposited in the Swiss banks is black money. "Agreement between India and Switzerland has this. From January 1, 2018, till the end of accounting year (ends March 31, 2019), all data will be made available. Why assume this is black money or illegal transactions?" NDTV quoted Goyal as saying.
The rise in Indian deposits in Swiss banks has reversed a three-year downward trend amid India's clampdown on black money parked in the foreign nation. Back in 2006, India had recorded the highest number of deposits (CHF 6.5 billion or Rs 23,000 crore). Ever since then, the Indian deposits have increased three times -- 12 per cent in 2011, 43 per cent in 2013 and 50.2 per cent in 2017. The 50 per cent increase in 2017 is in stark contrast with the total funds stashed by all foreign clients of Swiss banks, which rose by just 3 per cent.
The Modi government had won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with a thumping majority on issues like corruption and black money. In 2016, it launched a major demonetisation drive to curb black money and promote cashless economy. The Opposition has time and again slammed the government over both the claims. In fact, the RBI in its recent report had also said that the currency with the public has reached a record high level of over Rs 18.5 lakh crore, more than double from the low of about Rs 7.8 lakh crore it had hit post-demonetisation in late 2016.