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No amnesty scheme to Indian account-holders of HSBC's Swiss unit
August, 09th 2012

The government on Wednesday said the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had not offered any tax amnesty scheme to Indian account-holders of HSBC, Switzerland.

Minister of state for finance SS Palanimanickam replied in the negative to a written query in the Lok Sabha if the CBDT, the apex direct taxes body, had offered any "amnesty scheme" to wealthy citizens who had evaded taxes by hiding funds in accounts of Swiss unit of HSBC.

India had, a-year-and-a-half ago, received a list of 700 Indians from the French government about their bank accounts in HSBC, Geneva.

The minister also made it clear that there was no plan to give amnesty to tackle the issue of black money.

The government had set up a committee under the CBDT chairman to examine ways to strengthen laws to curb the generation of black money in the country, its illegal transfer abroad and its recovery. The panel submitted its report to the government in March 2012.

The minister informed the Lok Sabha that there is "no verifiable information" as to estimate black money brought back to the country till date.

Also, there is no verifiable information to estimate money deposited in foreign accounts by Indian, "which is exclusive of their legitimate foreign deposits", he added. Replying to another query, the minister said Swiss National Bank, the liability of Swiss banks towards Indians as on December 31, 2011, was $2.245 billion.

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