Narendra Modi government has been getting widespread recognition for its efforts to tackle the menace of black money. Be it the push for formalisation of economy or coordination with the international communities to weed out offenders and bring them to justice, Narendra Modi government has taken a number of steps in this regard. In recent developments, according to a report by PTI, Swiss authorities have issued notices to at least 11 Indian nationals regarding disclosure of their banking information to the Indian government. The authorities had issued the notices on 21st of May, just a couple days after exit polls had predicted a massive win for PM Narendra Modi, though the gazette notifications of the Swiss government has redacted full names for several of them while making public only their initials besides the nationality and the dates of birth.
The two Indians whose names have been mentioned in full are Krishna Bhagwan Ramchand (born in May 1949) and Kalpesh Harshad Kinariwala (born in September 1972). However, no further details have been disclosed about them as well.
The Indian nationals with redacted names include Mrs A S B K (born November 24, 1944), Mr A B K I (born July 9, 1944), Mrs P A S (born November 2, 1983), Mrs R A S (born November 22, 1973), Mr A P S (born November 27, 1944), Mrs A D S (born August 14, 1949), Mr M L A (born May 20, 1935), Mr N M A (born February 21, 1968) and Mr M M A (June 27, 1973).
A per these notices, these individuals or their authorised representatives have been asked to file an appeal, if any, within 30 days from the date of issue. These individuals are required to submit necessary documentary proof to support their case against providing ‘administrative assistance’ to India, which broadly means sharing of their banking and other financial details.
Swiss authorities also seem to have accelerated their efforts to coordinate with the Indian government. Earlier this month only, on 7th May, Swiss authorities had also issued a similar notice to two individuals, one Indian national, Ratan Singh Chowdhury, giving an option to appeal within ten days, while another Indian national with redacted name, Mr R P N, was given 30 days on May 14.
Before that in March, Switzerland had issued such notices to Mumbai-based Geodesic Ltd and its three directors (Prashant Sharad Mulekar, Pankajkumar Onkar Srivastava and Kiran Kulkarni), as also to Chennai-based Aadhi Enterprises Pvt Ltd, who are being probed by the Indian authorities for alleged money laundering and other financial irregularities.
Switzerland for long has been accused of being a safe haven for tax evaders to park their black money; however, Switzerland has always denied this charge. However, over the past few years, Swiss authorities have now begun sharing details with several countries including India after submission of evidence about financial and tax-related wrongdoings of the clients of Swiss banks. Besides, a new framework of automatic information exchange has been now put in place and the details can be accessed under the new system from this year. These steps by Swiss authorities surely indicate towards India’s growing clout in the international community under the leadership of Narendra Modi.