Advani wants white paper on black money stashed abroad

The government should publish a white paper on Indian money stashed abroad and reveal the outcome of negotiations with 20 countries where some Indians have hoarded black money, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani demanded Monday.

In 2008, Advani said, when the BJP had first raised the issue of Indian money stashed abroad in Swiss banks, or other tax havens, the party was ridiculed by Congress and even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had described it as an election stunt.

“I feel happy therefore that for the first time in the history of the Indian Parliament the President’s address itself has referred to this matter (in the joint session). In Parliament, both the prime minister and finance minister have not only conceded the significance of the issue but affirmed that government is proactively pursuing the issue, and negotiating with twenty countries for exchange of information about Indian nationals who have hoarded their tax- evaded, or ill-earned wealth abroad,” Advani wrote on his blog Monday.

“The country, however, will not remain satisfied with just affirmations and announcements. Now government has formally told parliament that negotiations have been completed with twenty countries including Switzerland,” he added.

The senior BJP leader urged the government to publish a white paper on the issue.

“I urge that a white paper be published on this issue, and the nation be taken into confidence. I wish to stress that government is duty bound to share with the people the outcome of their negotiations with the twenty countries,” he said.

He also credited his party for bringing the issue to the stage it is at present.

“I believe that events have reached the present pass principally because BJP made this issue an election issue. I felt happy that during the election campaign this matter was hotly debated among the people. Sanyasis like Swami Ramdevji would invariably refer to it in his sermons,” Advani said.


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