Germany Sends List Of Indians Holding Black Money In Tax Heavens 27 May 2010

Germany has sent the names of Indians, who had deposited their black money in tax heavens in Liechtenstein, to the Indian government. Last year, Germany, after accessing the details of account holders in the LGT Bank in Liechtenstein and in other tax havens, had voluntarily offered to share with the Indian government the details about Indian account holders in these banks.
However, for reasons unknown, the government of India has not disclosed the names to the nation. Observers believe that current UPA government would not like to disclose the list because names of many corrupt politicians, including from the ruling Congress party and its allies, could also be included in the list sent by Germany. Some also suspect that the list is being used by the political establishment to bargain with other political parties and industrialists.
First time in 2008 it came to light that through prolonged investigations Germany had been able to collect names of account holders in few tax heavens. Immediately, Germany offered to share the names of account holders with their respective countries, including India. Instead of approaching Germany for the details, the previous UPA government, for a long time, remained reluctant to request Germany to share the names of Indian tax evaders.
But then, it had to formally ask Germany for the details when the funds parked in tax havens became a poll issue in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections last year. BJP leader L K Advani even declared that if NDA came to power it would retrieve black money and use it for funding the country's development.
Last year, when the USA forced the Swiss authorities to share details of over 4,000 US account holders, many in India also demanded similar action by the Indian government. Under public pressure, the government had also initiated talks with the Swiss authorities for seeking information about the illegal funds parked in their banks.
When demands were raised in Indian parliament, the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee assured the country that the government had completed the negotiations (on tax treaties) with Switzerland and would soon access some details about the tax evaders.
According to the concerned officials, two months ago the German government had given Indian authorities a list of more than 50 Indians who have now been sent notices for tax evasion after scrutinising the same.
However, the exact number of persons contained in the list and the amount of illegal money in the accounts of German banks has not been disclosed by the Indian government. The progress in negotiations with the Swiss authorities is also kept in the wraps.