BJP leader L K Advani today expressed disappointment over the government’s inaction on the issue of black money and urged President Pranab Mukherjee to ensure that the government fulfils it promises made in a White Paper last year.
Advani regretted that government has not done any follow up despite its promises made in the White Paper brought out in May last to curb the generation of black money,its illicit transfer to tax havens abroad and secure its repatriation.
“My only regret is that the follow up of the White Paper has been disappointing,” Advani said on his blog today.
“I wish to urge Shri Pranab Mukherjee who is today in a far more exalted position than he was when he presented his White Paper to ensure that the promise made to the people in this document is fulfilled by Government both in letter and spirit,” Advani said.
He lamented that three institutions tasked to quantify the magnitude of black money have still not submitted their reports. The BJP leader noted not only powerful nations like the US,Germany but even smaller ones like Nigeria,Peru and the Philippines have got back their illicitly lost wealth from tax havens.
“We in India,on the other hand,have seen some reports about names who are supposed to have accounts in Swiss Banks or such other tax havens,but have not heard of even a single paisa illegally stashed abroad having been repatriated to our country,” he said.
The BJP leader has been raising the issue of black money stashed in safe tax havens abroad and had also taken out a nation-wide Jan Chetna Yatra in the last quarter of 2011 focusing on inflation,corruption and black money.
Unlike the general impression that his first yatra of 1990 on the Ram Temple issue had evoked the best response,Advani said,it was his last two yatras – the Swarna Jayanti Rath Yatra of 1997 and the Jan Chetna Yatra of 2011 that had evoked the maximum response.
“The general impression has been that my first yatra of 1990 – planned from Somnath to Ayodhya,but cut short at Samastipur had evoked the greatest response. It is also said very often that the enthusiasm aroused was because the core issue was religious,namely,the Rama Temple.
“But I would like to affirm here that my latest two yatras,the Swarna Jayanti Rath Yatra of 1997,and the Jan Chetna Yatra of 2011 have evoked the maximum response till date. Both these were related to good governance and economic well being of the people!” he said. On the black money issue,Advani recalled how BJP has been raising it consistently during the last five years and a Congress spokesman had ridiculed it when the party first raised it in 2008.
He also recalled his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on April 6,2008,where he raised the issue of German government launching a massive probe against tax-evaders and procuring confidential data of thousands of them.
In 2009,Advani said,Washington forced Swiss banking giant UBS to disclose the names of 4,450 American clients suspected of hiding assets in Switzerland. BJP’s four-member Task Force to study the issue also came to the conclusion that Indian wealth illegally stashed abroad may be anywhere between Rs 25 lakh crore and Rs 70 lakh crore.