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Last Updated : Jun 29, 2018 08:54 PM IST | Source: PTI

Liberalised remittance scheme may have triggered Indians' deposits in Swiss banks: Piyush Goyal

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said the government would start getting details about bank accounts of Indians in Switzerland from next year under a bilateral tax treaty.

Amid rise in Swiss bank deposits by Indians, the government today indicated that the liberalised remittance scheme introduced by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram could have been a trigger for the surge, and said strong action would be taken in case of any wrong doing.

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said the government would start getting details about bank accounts of Indians in Switzerland from next year under a bilateral tax treaty.

Money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 percent 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.

In comparison, the total funds held by all foreign clients of Swiss banks rose about 3 percent to CHF 1.46 trillion or about Rs 100 lakh crore in 2017, according to data released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB), the central banking authority of the Alpine nation.

Replying to queries about the rise in Indians' deposits in Swiss banks, Goyal said, "the data that you alluded to will come to us, so how are you assuming that this is black money or this is illegal transaction".

Citing media reports, the minister said that 40 percent of the money is because of liberalised remittance scheme which was introduced by Chidambaram. As per the liberalised LRS, an individual could remit up to USD 2,50,000 per year, he added.

"We will have all information if someone is found guilty, (and) the government will take strong action against them," Goyal said.

The government has been taking various measures, including shuttering of shell companies, to curb illicit fund flows in the system.

Last July, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mentioned about record 45 percent drop in deposits by Indians in Swiss banks. He was talking about the government efforts to fight the black money menace at the foundation day of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on July 1.

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First Published on Jun 29, 2018 08:50 pm
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