UPA government not clear on issue of black money: BJP


Kolkata : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday accused the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of being unwilling to reveal the names of Indians who have stashed ill-gotten wealth in foreign banks and alleged it was “not at all” serious about recovering black money.

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“Congress is not clear on the issue of black money. What Pranab Mukherjee has said was nothing new. What is the government doing to bring back this black money? If the black money can be recovered many problems will be solved,” said BJP’s Shahnawaz Hussain.

Last week, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said $462 billion to $1.4 trillion in black money is estimated to have been stashed abroad by Indians and all steps were being taken to bring it back. But the names of the perpetrators can’t be revealed yet.

“Why is the Congress government not willing to reveal the names of those people who are having foreign bank accounts? What are they afraid of? They are only doing lip service. They are not at all serious about the recovery of the black money stashed in these accounts,” said Hussain.

India has started renegotiating its tax agreements with several countries in an effort to track ill-gotten money stashed in tax havens such as Switzerland.

Asked whether the government has a soft foreign policy approach towards China, Hussain said, “We have always stood by the government in the matter of foreign policy. But we think that we should talk tough and in a firm way on the issue of China.”

Hussain also took a dig at the country’s left parties for softening their stand on the demand of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe on the 2G spectrum issue.

“This is the nature of the communists. They will first shout on an issue and when time comes they will run away. Now they have softened their stand on the JPC probe,” said Hussain.

The opposition has been relentlessly demanding setting up of a JPC to probe the irregularities in the allocation of the 2G-telecom spectrum in 2008. The government has rejected the demand. This led to the entire Nov 9-Dec 13, 2010 winter session of parliament being washed out.