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Blackmoney: Action being taken on information from France, says government

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A day after Arvind Kejriwal accused it of inaction over black money allegedly stashed away in HSBC Bank in Geneva, government today said investigations are in progress with tax authorities to obtain more information regarding the reported account holders.

Without naming either the bank or the account holders involved, government came out with a statement saying that appropriate action has been taken on these cases based on information received last year from the French government.

"And further including assessment, tax collection and levy of penalty will be taken as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and based on the facts of the each case", said a statement issued on behalf of the Department of Revenue of the Finance Ministry.

The statement comes in the wake of allegations leveled by India Against Corruption (IAC) activist Kejriwal and lawyer Prashant Bhushan that government has taken no action on the information provided purportedly on 700 account holders in HSBC Geneva by the French government. They had also named top industrialists and a politician as having parked their money to the tune of Rs 6000 crore in the bank.

The official statement merely said that information was received in June last year by the government from its counterpart in France relating to certain bank accounts reportedly held by certain individuals and non-individuals in a foreign bank.

Reference to this matter was made by the then Finance Minister during the course of the debate on adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha on December 14 last year. Subsequently, answers to question on this matter were furnished in the Rajya Sabha on August 23 this year.

"Information was received in June, 2011 by the Government of India from the Government of France relating to certain bank accounts reportedly held by certain individuals/non-individuals in a foreign bank", the statement said, adding that the information has been analysed and investigations into the information have been undertaken by the different jurisdictional authorities under the Income Tax Act 1961.

It added it would be pertinent to point out that the information received from France is covered by the confidentiality clause under the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) between India and France and can be used only for the tax purposes specified there in. 

Story first published on: November 10, 2012 17:22 (IST)

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