Yash Birla, 7 others named by Swiss Bank
Late liquor baron Ponty Chaddha and industrialist Yash Birla feature in the list of names made public by Switzerland's official gazette in connection with the ongoing tax evasion probe by Indian authorities. According to Arun Jaitley, this information should serve as a "sufficient indicator" for all those who still hold undisclosed income abroad, about the action to follow.
Former SC judge MB Shah was chosen to head the SIT (Special Investigation Team) on black money. The week before, SC had granted the government a week's time, to constitute the SIT to investigate black money cases. Cases in which investigations have been initiated, are pending, are waiting to be commenced or have been completed were to come under the jurisdiction of the panel.
Government gave the entire list of around 627 HSBC accounts in Geneva given by France, to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover. Deadline for investigation into these accounts was set as March 31, 2015. SIT chief - MB Shah said that there was no new detail in the list and the SIT already had these names.
Herve Falciani, who leaked information related to thousands of illegal bank account holders at HSBC in Geneva was indicted by Swiss authorities for industrial espionage, breach of trade and banking secrecy. He had offered to help India with its black money investigation. Switzerland did not entertain information requests as it considered the probe to be based on "stolen data".
Arun Jaitley said that by the end of March, more names of people with black money in foreign banks would come out. He added that in the next couple of months, a new law to bring back black money would be introduced. He accused the Congress of opposing the bill just for the sake of opposing.
Switzerland has increased its efforts to repel the illicit funds from its banking system. Switzerland is trying to strengthen its bilateral cooperation with India and some other countries on matters related to tax evasion. Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority termed the tax status of many clients as "inappropriate".
Undisclosed income abroad will now be taxed at a tax rate of 30% with an additional 30% penalty on it. The bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on 13th May; the Lok Sabha had already passed the bill the week before. According to an unofficial estimate, total illegal money saved in overseas banks is between $466 billion and $1.4 trillion.
Offenders will get a 3-10 years jail-term. Rs 10 lakh fine on failure to file returns on foreign income. No fine on any unreported holding of less than Rs 5 lakh