New Delhi: As the tussle seeking disclosure of names of people who have stashed black money abroad continues in Supreme Court, the Finance Ministry says it has ‘no authentic figures’ about the amount of money deposited in Swiss banks.

The Ministry also said certain references have been received on the black money issue but declined to publicise since it may impede the process of investigation as the case is being heard in the Apex Court.

"There are no authentic figures about the amount of deposits held by Indian citizens in Swiss Banks, which are exclusive of their lawful and legitimate deposits," the Ministry said in reply to an RTI query.

The applicant had asked the Ministry of Finance to give information on the names of individuals/companies who have deposited black money in Swiss banks along with the steps taken by the government to check it.

"It is stated that efforts have been made from time to time to seek details of the bank accounts held by Indians in Swiss Confederation under the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Switzerland.

"However, the Swiss Federal Tax Administration has expressed its inability to exchange the information regarding bank deposits of Indian citizens as the information was not necessary for the application of the DTAA between India and Swiss Confederation but was required only for the enforcement of India internal laws," the RTI reply said.

"They (Swiss Authorities) also replied that such information was not at their disposal under Swiss Laws in the normal course of tax administration," it added.

The Supreme Court hearing a petition on Thursday slammed the government for its inefficiency in dealing with the case and focusing its probe only on Hasan Ali, owner of Pune-based stud farm, accused of money laundering and large scale tax evasion.

Many NGOs and whistleblowers have complained to authorities that Indian money worth several thousands crore was illegally routed to many tax havens and urged the government to take strict measures to put a bar on it.

(Agencies)