Govt probing assets, payments of Indians received abroad: FM

New Delhi: Details of assets and payments received by Indian citizens in several countries have “started flowing in“ and are being investigated, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee disclosed on Saturday.

Information about wealth stashed away in Swiss banks by Indians is expected by the government before the end of the year, he indicated after pointing out that India had signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty with Switzerland.

The treaty is likely to be ratified by the Swiss by September and information about tax avoidance should be available thereafter.

Information regarding assets and payments received by Indian citizens was now now under different stages of processing, he said.

Rejecting the opposition charge that the government was not not serious about dealing with black money, the minister told PTI that while previous governments which included the BJP, CPI and other opposition parties had done nothing in this regard, the UPA had launched a five-pronged strategy in this regard.

Besides creating an appropriate legislative framework, the government had started renegotiations with 75 countries to get more information. Negotiations have been completed with 53 countries or jurisdictions.

According to latest estimates available, the Directorate of International Taxation has collected taxes of Rs.33,784 crore from cross border transactions in the last two financial years.

In a large number of specific cases, information has been obtained under DTAAs. The Directorate of Transfer Pricing has detected mispricing of Rs.34,145 crore in the last two financial years as against mispricing of Rs.14,655 crore in earlier five years.

The investigation wing of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has detected concealed income of Rs.18,750 crore i the last two financial years.

Mukherjee said India has been able to achieve success in getting information about black money stashed abroad in the last two years after the Pittsburgh summit of the G-20 where clear signals were given that countries and tax havens cannot continue their non-cooperation in this matter.

India joined the global crusade against black money and has now now a huge network of amended DTAAs and Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with tax havens.

Dismissing opposition claims, he maintained that simply by sending a couple of tax officials the government cannot bring black money stashed abroad in banks.