Monday, January 24, 2011

Indians are poor but India is not a poor country

Recently, I got a message which was forwarded by many people, I think the news has some truth : read it below

“ Indians are poor but India is not a poor country”,says one of the Swiss bank
directors. He says that “280 lacs crore (280,00,000,000,0000) of Indian rupees is deposited in Swiss banks which could be used for

‘ tax less’ budget for 30 yrs.
Can give 60 crore jobs to all Indians.
From any village to Delhi - 4 lane roads.
Forever free supply to more than 500 social projects.
Every citizen can get monthly 2000/- for 60 yrs.
No need of world bank & IMF loan.

Think how our money is blocked by rich politicians. We have full rights to bring charges against corrupt politicians and confiscate these monies .

Read the last para in the report -
Money lying in Swiss banks may hit markets via P-notes- Analysis-Markets-The Economic Times

Updated figures per the Swiss Banking Association report 2008

Deposits In Swiss Bank ~

Top 5
India---- $1891 billion
Russia----- $610 billion
China------ $213 billion
UK-------- $210 billion
Ukraine ----------- $140 billion
Rest of the world ----$300 billion

Source: Swiss Banking Association report 2008

Do you know this is more money than ALL the money in ALL the banks in India taken TOGETHER ! This shows how corrupt the beurocrat netas and their relatives are... Its high time to get that money back to India...

BRP Bhaskar: The black money chase
January 24, 2011
Source : The Gulf Today
According to a message circulating in cyber space, a Swiss bank official has said Indians are holding “280 lakh crore rupees” (about $606,000 million) in secret accounts in that country. It is safe to assume the figure was cooked up locally. After all, a Swiss bank official is unlikely to use very Indian terms like “lakh” (100,000) and “crore” (10 million).

Also in circulation is a purported extract from a Swiss Banking Association report of 2006 which says Indians hold the most black money in banks there. The five countries mentioned in it as the biggest sources of black money are: India $1,456 billion, Russia $470 billion, UK $390 billion and Ukraine $100 billion.

These figures, too, appear to be fabrications. The Association’s annual reports for several years, including 2006, which are available on the web, do not contain any information about foreign black money deposits. The Global Financial Integrity (GFI) report of the US-based Center for International Policy, published this month, says the developing countries had lost about $6.5 trillion during 2000-09 on account of illegal money transfers. Its list of 10 countries which suffered the most losses does not include India.

The fact is that there is no reliable data on money held abroad by Indian nationals. However, last week, the Supreme Court, while hearing a set of public interest petitions, appeared ready to give credence to reports that Indians hold an estimated $1 trillion in foreign bank accounts.

The petitions, which have been pending before the court for nearly two years, are now receiving increased attention in the light of recent revelations about various corrupt deals, including the 2G scam, which led to the resignation of a central minister.

The government’s counsel handed over to the court in a sealed cover a list of 26 Indians with secret bank accounts in Liechtenstein, obtained from the German authorities. He informed the court that the Income-tax department had raised a demand of Rs242.6 million from the 18 resident Indians whose names figure in the list. The court expressed displeasure at the government’s inability to get information about money held in other tax havens. It also upbraided the authorities for focusing on tax evasion, overlooking corruption and other criminal acts involved in the generation of black money, and called for a comprehensive report by Thursday.

Black money, generated in the country and stashed away in foreign banks, has been a source of worry for the Indian authorities for a long time. To begin with, the offenders were mainly industrialists who under-invoiced exports and over-invoiced imports. Corrupt politicians and officials are believed to have joined their ranks later.

The government offered amnesty on a few occasions with a view to drawing black money into the tax net. The efforts were not great successes.

Switzerland is probably the most favoured parking station of Indian black money. Under an agreement negotiated last year, the Swiss government was to give India access to secret bank accounts of Indians beginning this month. Since the Swiss parliament has not adopted the necessary protocol, the agreement has not come into force yet.

The Indo-Swiss agreement has only limited application. It cannot be invoked to seek information about pre-existing bank accounts. Even with regard to new accounts, the Swiss commitment is confined to providing administrative assistance to track cases of tax evasion and fraud. The Swiss Bankers Association has said it will not permit “fishing expeditions.”

With the apex court calling for action to unearth black money and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the main opposition, demanding a law to track down money in secret foreign accounts, pressure is mounting on the government to act.

According to S. Gurumurthy, a chartered accountant and columnist who has a record of exposing some corporate misdeeds, the government lacks the will to go after foreign bank accounts since its own leadership is not free from blemish. In this context, he cites a 1991 article in Schweizer Illustrierte, a Swiss magazine, which said Sonia Gandhi, who is now chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance, was controlling secret accounts with 2.5 billion Swiss francs (equal to $2.2 billion) in her son’s name at that time.

Gurumurthy, whose pro-BJP sympathies are well-known, steers clear of the question why the BJP did nothing to bring back the money in foreign bank accounts when it was in power from 1999 to 2004. Obviously there is more in the black money issue than meets the eye.


Below an old news form Time

"People Think India Is a Poor Country. It Is Not"

When he served as India's finance minister from 1996 to 1998, Palaniappan Chidambaram became known as a forceful economic reformer. After a stint in the political wilderness, Chidambaram returned to his old job last year in a new role: poverty fighter. He spoke to Time's Aravind Adiga in his office in New Delhi.

TIME: You said in your budget speech that "India is not a poor country, yet a significant proportion of our people are poor." Are you trying to redefine India's image?
Chidambaram: Yes. A number of people both within India and abroad think India is a poor country. It is not. The bulk of India's people remain poor because we are not able to give basic education to our children, we are not able to impart skills to our young men and women, and we are not able to get productive work out of them. If we can get another 200 million to 300 million people to join the ranks of those engaged in productive activity, India's GDP will soar.

TIME: Your budget earmarks a lot of money to help the poor. Many Indians are skeptical that it will ever reach them.
Chidambaram: I have taken note of the skepticism. We'll monitor not only the spending but also the outcomes. To the extent possible, I will travel around the country to see for myself what is happening.

TIME: There's a focus on rural poverty in your budget. What about India's urban poor?
Chidambaram: In urban areas, I believe that hardly anyone goes without food; there is always some kind of income. But their poverty stems from the environment in which they live�lack of sanitation, lack of drinking water, medical care. The answer to urban poverty is to get rid of the blight of slums and build proper homes with basic facilities.

TIME: You quote Nobel prizewinning economist Amartya Sen in your speech.
Chidambaram: Sen argues that it's growth that expands freedom. There is a belief among some sections that even with low growth, you can achieve your social objectives. I don't share that view. Growth is paramount. As long as I keep India on a 7%-plus growth path, as long as we keep inflation within limits and do not slow down our efforts to open up India's economy, reduction of poverty will follow.

TIME: Won't India's bureaucracy defeat your efforts to help the poor?
Chidambaram: It is easy to blame the bureaucracy, yet it's the same bureaucracy that delivers in one place and fails to deliver in another. A bureaucracy is like a horse. It is only as good as the rider. If leadership is sound, we can extract results from the bureaucracy.

TIME: What role can foreign investment play in India's efforts to fight poverty?
Chidambaram: We can learn from China that as long as we are masters of our own house, there is no reason to fear foreign investment. It can also help us devise better ways of delivering social goods such as health care.

TIME: Your budget spends on the poor without punishing the rich. Is this a sign that India has moved beyond socialism in its attempt to fight poverty?
Chidambaram: Socialist goals remain valid. What we are trying to do is devise and invent better means to achieve those goals.


Wikileaks@ 40 Indians black money

Wikileaks@ 40 Indians black money
Rudolf Elmer, a former employee of Swiss-based Bank Julius Baer, told Britain's Observer newspaper that the files contain details of about 2,000 accounts held in offshore financial centers. He says the account holders include celebrities, business leaders and lawmakers from the US, Britain and Asia. Elmer is scheduled to hold a press conference in London Monday with a representative from the secret-spilling website. The banker previously leaked documents to WikiLeaks in 2007. He has been ordered to appear before a Zurich regional court on Wednesday to answer charges of coercion and violating Switzerland's strict banking secrecy laws.

The Indian politicians and Corporates honchos are shivering with the news, as per Assange(Founder of Wikileaks), there are 40 Indians placed in the list. He may release the list within a week time. The media may start speculating on names in the list, especially in AP media. These news channels may probe all political scams and corporate scandals happened since independence of India. Of course, the partial list restricted to one bank in the Switzerland; there are the several banks in Switzerland which allow to deposit the unaccounted money by providing the complete secrecy, out of these banks UBS is the biggest. If UBS officials leaks the information, the entire system will get exposed.
Other Source

Switzerland ready to help India on black money issue

Source The Indian Express
Thu Mar 11 2010

Switzerland has changed its attitude on tax havens and is ready to give assistance to India on the issue of black money stashed in its banks, a former lawmaker has said.

"Under international pressure, Switzerland has changed its attitude concerning tax havens and is ready to give assistance in this regard to India," said Rudolf Strahm, a former MP who held the post of Federal Price Regulator till recently.

India and Switzerland are currently renegotiating the bilateral double taxation treaty, which would help the Indian authorities to seek details of Indians who have secret Swiss bank accounts.

While there is no official figure on the huge amounts of unaccounted money kept in Swiss banks, a petition moved by former Law Minister Ram Jethmalani and others claims that the amount involved is around Rs 70 lakh crore.

The Swiss government has already signed about 20 bilateral agreements with 20 countries on double taxation, Strahm said.

"There is a process of change of attitude in Switzerland concerning this capital from abroad," Strahm, a former MP of ruling Social Democratic Party who is on a visit to India, said.

Strahm said the Swiss government has declared that it will give official assistance to countries on the issue of tax evasions.

"We are prepared for discussions with other countries on the issue. It is up to those countries to negotiate with the Swiss government," Strahm said.

Asked about black money in Swiss banks from this country, he said India too can enter into an agreement with Switzerland on double taxation.

"I think the tax havens in Switzerland will change and will be corrected. In the last two years, we have very strong philosophy inside the government towards the question of tax evasions," he said.

Strahm is on 11-day visit to India during which he proposes to highlight the advantages of the vocational education and training programmes in Switzerland which have immensely helped meeting its industry requirements.

He said the Gujarat government has evinced interest in adopting such vocational education model which combines education and practical training.

Seek details about black money from Swiss Banks: CPM tells Govt

Feb 23, 2009
New Delhi With one of the Swiss banks agreeing to provide information to the US about its account-holders, the CPI(M) on Monday demanded that the UPA government should seek details of Indians who have illegally stashed funds in Switzerland and other tax havens.

The CPI(M) Polit Bureau said it is imperative that the UPA government demand details of Indian account-holders from Swiss banks and from banks in other tax havens.

“In the case of India, it is not only a case of tax evasion but also of funds being illegally stashed abroad, or used for money laundering,” the CPI(M) said in a statement.

The CPI(M) reminded the government that UBS, the largest Swiss Bank, has agreed to provide information to the US of account-holders who are suspected to have evaded taxes in America while British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also called for such an action.

“If the (UPA) government is serious about stopping black money and raising resources to meet growing economic crisis, it must take steps to bring back the unaccounted, or, ill-gotten wealth of Indians abroad,” the party said.

The Swiss banks with secret accounts are known to hold substantial sum of money deposited by Indians, it said adding “these funds amounting to billions of dollars were either illegally taken out of the country or were deposited in Switzerland and other tax havens instead of being repatriated to India.”

Source :Express India

Advani hopes Supreme Court will act on black money issue

January 18, 2011
Ahmedabad, Jan 18 (PTI) Senior BJP leader L K Advanitoday said that the he has great hope that the Supreme Courtwould act on the issue of black money stashed in foreignbanks.

"Eminent people like Ram Jethmalani, Subash Kashyapand KPS Gill have approached the court on the issue. I have agreat hope in the Supreme Court," Advani said.

"An international organisation has said that more thanRs 20 lakh crore of Indian money is stashed is foreign banks.

If it is brought back, it will satisfy infrastructure needs ofthe country," Advani said here on the sidelines of a municipalcorporation function.

In his recent blog post Advani had also written, "bypursuing the matter, the Supreme Court will earn the lastinggratitude of the Indian people by forcing Government to bringback all this wealth."

Advani also lashed out at the Congress-led UPAgovernment on the issue of price rise.

"The Central government has totally failed to controlinflation. Huge increase in prices of essential commoditieshas made life of common people very difficulty and has alsomade the nation suffer", Advani said. .

In a reply to a question on reported cabinet expansion plans of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the veteran BJP leadersaid, "when this government is already involved in numerousscams, reshuffling of cabinet will not help. From what I haveheard, there is lot of tug of war going on after the reportsof reshuffling came".


Govt in a fix over money in foreign banks

G. Srinivasan

New Delhi, Jan 23

Source: The Hindu Businessline

The thorny issue of unearthing unaccounted money stashed abroad by Indians of dubious disposition in Swiss banks and other tax havens is emerging as a big bone of contention between the Government and the Opposition parties led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the CPI (M), following the strictures of the apex court on the subject.

The exasperated UPA government, in its second innings, is now in the unenviable predicament of a medley of miseries triggered off by the eruption of corruption charges, following the Commonwealth Games scam, the 2G spectrum allocation scam and the Adarsh land scam in Mumbai and the unrelenting food inflation that threatens to derail its growth story. These, coupled with the inability of the government to assure the agitated Opposition on the recovery of stashed money abroad by sordid trusts/companies/individuals of Indian origin, might threaten to render the forthcoming Budget session of Parliament a long winter of woes to the Treasury Benches!

While the BJP senior leader, Mr Advani, accused the UPA government of not taking ‘proactive steps on this front is motivated by the fear of self-incrimination” without alluding to any individual in the Congress Party, the Polit Bureau of the CPI (M), in its statement on Friday, said “unaccounted and ill-gotten wealth, amassed through tax evasion, money laundering and other illegal means” must be “confiscated by the Union government from the Swiss Bank and brought back to the country”.


Even as the government is concerned and keen on realising the tax evaded on the money stashed abroad through its tax authority channels with its overseas counterparts and tax havens through various negotiations, including entering into double taxation avoidance agreements (DTTAs), most of the political parties pitch for getting the funds stashed abroad to be eventually brought back into India.

They say that domestically just as in individuals or firms the evaded amount, once detected, entails penalty and seizure of assets if the source of income is not legal, the Government should exercise its options to prosecute persons of Indian origin involved in this clandestine transaction with foreign banks or tax havens, once the Article on exchange of information under the said DTTAs is forged and brought into vogue.

But, the Finance Ministry is pleading difficulty in doing this because our laws do not hold water extra-territorially unless the Article on exchange of information under the DTTAs mutually provides for it.

Even in the case when German authorities have let information available to the Indian authorities on accounts concerning Indian nationals with the LGT Bank of Liechtenstein, the disclosure was governed by the secrecy provisions of the said Article of the DTAA to be used only for the tax purposes.

Yet, in a response to a written query in the Rajya Sabha on December 7, the Union Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, conceded that assessment proceedings were reopened and completed in respect of 18 cases of the beneficiaries and “penalty proceedings for concealment of income heave separately been initiated in all these cases”.

Penalty for concealment

Thus, the tax authorities in India are going full throttle not only to realise the tax on the evaded income but also to get penalty for concealment of income which would be prohibitively high to the surreptitious trusts/ beneficiaries of the culpably covert heist.

If this were feasible, the next step of forcing those nefarious elements to part with at least a plausible chunk of their ill-gotten wealth could also be attempted through various official and diplomatic channels with other countries and tax havens.

This is what the political parties in the country are demanding from the ruling party and their plea for disclosing the names of such individuals is only the tip of the treasure trove the country could legitimately lay claim to if the governing class shows the requisite gumption and grit. This is possible because India has identified 22 priority countries/jurisdictions for entering into tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs), even as the new Protocol signed on August 20, 2010 by India and Switzerland would enable the former to obtain banking information relating to any period beginning on or after April 1, 2011 in specific cases.

The latter is a small comfort because the new protocol with Switzerland cannot examine or reopen past cases that had taken or would take place till March 31, 2011!

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