When a former Swiss private banker passed out information of hundreds of offshore bank account holders, including some high-end Indians, to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the domino effect stirred the Indian political landscape too. The pressure is piling up on the Central government to flash those names who have clandestinely parked billions of amount with foreign banks. The government threw the ball in the court instead of revealing the identity of the big fishes, who stashed away black money to evade tax. Nearly Rs 22.5 lakh crore is reported to have been salted away in the foreign bank accounts. It does not auger well for the Manmohan Singh government, fighting with his losing credentials, who is showing lackadaisical attitude on this grievous issue. The government’s plea does not appear convincing that the international agreement has a secrecy clause so it would not be prudent to reveal the names of account holders at this stage. The court took a pot shot at the Centre, saying, it is pure and simple theft of national economy, a mindboggling crime and there is no need of niceties of this treaty or that treaty.
This black money is not mere tax evasion, rather the money has been siphoned off to overseas banks having plundered the national economy. Going by the enormity of situation, the ruling dispensation cannot shrug off its responsibility, otherwise it will be cumbersome for the machinery. It is not surprising that one day Indian skeletons would be tumbled out of WikiLeaks cupboard, leaving the government red-faced. The black money has become an international issue, so the government should not have qualm to unearth the names of account holders in banks abroad. Indian government should follow America which managed to fish out the names of account holders and even slapped huge fines on the Swis Bank. It is disappointing that the Centre is citing logic of bottleneck of international treaty instead of carrying out national duty. The government must know that the treaty which has gone decrepit or not being fit for the national interest should not be used to shield its stand. The Centre should strike an international deal which will enable them to bring back black money from foreign banks and punish the account holders. Almost 50 percent of GDP is said to have been stashed away as a black money in foreign banks. If the black money is back and doled out among 400 million people who are living below the poverty line, it would make a sea change in their lives. As it is a national money, the government must take solemn oath to get it back.