Published: Fri, June 29, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Indians' money in Swiss banks rises 50% in one year

Indians' money in Swiss banks rises 50% in one year

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of black money and said he had promised to bring back all illegal money stashed overseas but his government was now virtually saying that there was no illegal money in Swiss banks.

Money deposited by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 per cent to CHF 1.01 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017, reversing a three-year downward trend amid India's clampdown on suspected black money stashed there. "Illegal transactions or legal deposits?' Watch Viewpoint with Bhupendra Chaubey".

This is the third year in a row that the funds linked to Pakistan in Swiss banks have exceeded that of Indians.

50% jump in Swiss Bank deposits by Indians, is "WHITE" money.

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The surge in Indian money held with Swiss banks comes as a surprise given India's continuing clampdown on suspected black money stashed overseas, including in banks of Switzerland that used to be known for their famed secrecy walls for years.

Over the last three years among the measures taken by the Indian government to combat black money include the enactment of Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, the Income Declaration Scheme in 2016 and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana last year.

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On directions of the Supreme Court (SC), India had constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe cases of alleged black money of Indians, including funds stashed overseas in places like Switzerland.

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Earlier in the day, while responding to Swiss National Bank's annual data which revealed that money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 per cent to around Rs 7,000 crore, Finance Minister Piyugh Goyal had stated how all of it can be assumed to be black money adding "Strong action would be taken against anyone found guilty of wrongdoing".

As per the SNB data, the total funds linked to Pakistan in Swiss banks stood at a record high level of CHF 3.43 billion in the year 2001, but has come down considerably since then and has hit the lowest level since 1996, from which this data is available.

In comparison, the clients' direct money stood at CHF 1,386.6 million and through fiduciaries at CHF 29 million in 2016.

"From what I understand (from media reports) 40 per cent increase in foreign remittances are on account of the Reserve Bank's Liberalised Remittance Scheme brought during the previous (UPA) government under which a resident Indian can remit $250,000 per year", the Minister said.

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