Black money: Jaitley says 427 foreign account holders identified

A day after opposition parties disrupted Lok Sabha proceedings, finance minister Arun Jaitley today told the Rajya Sabha that the government has identified 427 foreign account-holders and sent notices to them.

Responding to a debate on the black money issue in the House, Jaitley said the government was raising the bar for the investigation in the case.

Jatiley, however, rejected demands that the government put the names before the house. "If you're suggesting to me a suicidal course, the government will not follow it."

Jaitley went on to outline the laws that bind India from disclosing the names of those having accounts abroad.

The Congress and the TMC walked out during Jaitley's reply to Rajya Sabha.

The finance minister said the names in the black money list will be disclosed at the right time but haste will not help, he said.

"If we follow an adventurist course, it will be a one-day thrill. The other countries will never co-operate with us. Also the account holders will also be vindicated," said Jaitley.

He said of the 427 account holders, 250 have already admitted to having accounts in foreign banks.

The central government had, on 29 October, submitted before the Supreme Court a list of names of 627 Indians who have banks accounts in foreign banks.

He said, unlike in the case of the earlier UPA government, the NDA government is bound by the directions of the Supreme Court in the case.

The finance minister said as the prosecution proceeds, more names in the black money list will automatically be made public.

We will be extremely pro-active in chasing black money account holders; the procedure will take time, but we will have foolproof procedure, he said.

He said the main aim of the NDA government was to set up the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money and that it has shared many names with the agency.

The finance minister also informed the house that the government was in talks with Switzerland for automatic exchange of tax information.