Can Times of India justify that Indian Balck Money deposited in Swiss Banks are just a subject matter of Tax EVasion?

Date: 19 May 2009


Can Times of India justify that Indian Balck Money deposited in Swiss  Banks are just a subject matter of Tax EVasion?

I was surprised to see that Times of India, was not very much interested to publish Indian views connected with the Indian Black Money deposited in Switzerland, but for the reasons best known to it, advocated in favour of Swiss Authorities, by publishing a News Report, under heading 'Swiss banks cannot act as any country's tax inspector' on 17 May 2009, which was prepared by TNN Reporter Mr. Sachin Parashar. I am raising the issue of Indian Black Money in Swiss Banks, since long time. In respect to my hue and cry news was also published by the Economic Times in eighties under heading “Shareholder’s Right”, prepared by (Late) Mr. Samarjeet Ghosh, from Pune, who was victimized and transferred from Kolkata to Pune, for publishing my Interviews, by the Times of India Group of Newspapers under the Large Amount of the Advertisements from one Monopoly House. 


In 2005, I make study on the basis of the documents available in websites of Swiss Authorities, and mentioned in my Online Petition addressed to Mr. Kofi A. Annan, the then Secretary General of UNO, to justify that black money deposited in Swiss Banks are just not the subject matter of Tax-Evasion, rather very serious matter concerned to Corruptions, Terrorism and organised crimes, and causing severe damages to developments of victim countries in clear violation of the basic objectives and principles described in U N Charter for international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all and seriously infringing the fundamental rights of the citizen of other countries by seriously affecting the economical growths, thus I wanted that SECURITY COUNCIL SHOULD IMPOSE SANCTION AGAINST SWISS GOVERNMENT FOR BANKING SECRECY WHICH PROVIDING OPEN PROTECTIONS TO ILLEGAL MONEY OF TERRORISTS, CORRUPT POLITICIANS ETC., FROM DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, CAUSING SEVERE THREATS TO ITS LEGITIMATE DEVELOPMENTS and posted at:    

I also mentioned in the aforesaid Online Petition uploaded in June, 2005, based on available figures in the first quarter of 2005, from the Websites of the Swiss Authorities “Investment from foreign customers in Asset Management accounted for a share of approximately 57% of all assets held, 42.1% came from private clients and 47.5% from institutional investors. Commercial clients accounted for the remaining 10.4%.” Swiss Authorities admitted that: “Swiss financial sector manages roughly a third of all worldwide financial assets invested abroad. It consequently holds a leading global position in the rapidly growing asset management sector. Assets in customer accounts managed by Swiss banks as of end of 2001 amounted to CHF 3,320 billion.” Switzerland also has the world's 5th largest bond market and accounts for more than 1/4 of all the money flowing into the global hedge fund industry. Such 57% which arising to CHF 1,881 billion in Foreign Asset Management is invested by the foreign clients certainly from developing countries. Reportedly rest 43% is also not from the Swiss Citizens. Its important part accounted from admitted unclaimed assets in the Swiss Financial sector belongs to Corrupt Politicians, bureaucrats and unscrupulous businessmen from developing countries.       


Even as per the then roaming report a file is exists in India’s Central Vigilance Commission, (certainly they will not admit the same), which I also mentioned in my aforesaid online Petition, and indicating that amount between about Rs16,00,00,00,00,00,000 and Rs.50,00,00,00,00,00,000 (16 and 50 Lakhs of Crores of Rupees) ($US 800 Billions Dollars or so) of the Black money from India are deposited in Swiss and other foreign Banks by the Corrupt Politicians, Bureaucrats and unscrupulous Businessmen. Since, control of the Government is not free from embracement from the Powerful Corrupt Politicians, whose money might be in Swiss Banks, as a result, Government of India is not initiating the matter in appropriate manner. 


Therefore, by publishing following News Item, under heading 'Swiss banks cannot act as any country's tax inspector' 16 May 2009, 0339 hrs IST, Sachin Parashar, TNN, the Times of India not performed its duty as Member of Fourth Estate of INdian Democracy:- 


NEW DELHI: As India awaits the poll results with bated breath, the controversy over black money stashed away abroad was further stoked by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) whose spokesperson told TOI on Friday that Swiss banks cannot work as any country's tax inspector and that the association has requested the Swiss authorities to examine each request carefully to make sure a real crime is involved before agreeing upon revealing a client's identity or assets. 

The spokesperson also rubbished reports that it had ever issued a report on black money deposited in Swiss banks by Indians which he said was being passed around like the Gospel truth. 

Unlike in India , tax evasion is not looked upon as a crime by Swiss banks. The SBA spokesperson, James Nason, while replying to a query from this paper, said that taxes are the personal responsibility of citizens and not banks. "If they suspect an existing client is using his account for criminal purposes the banks are obliged by law to freeze the account and make a report to the authorities. However, it is not the job of Swiss banks to play the role of a foreign country's tax inspector and find out whether that person has paid all his taxes,'' said Nason, even as he refrained from making any comment on Pune resident Hassan Ali Khan who is alleged to have deposited $8 billion in secret accounts and whose case has been taken up by Indian authorities with their Swiss counterparts. 

The right to privacy, he said, in Switzerland can be suspended by a judge when a criminal investigation is underway and that the Swiss authorities can order and authorise a Swiss bank to deliver the relevant account information. 

Nason also scoffed at the figures being quoted by political parties in India on the black money allegedly lying in Swiss banks saying that these were meant only for the election campaign. The BJP has suggested that the actual amount could be as high as $1.4 trillion. "At best, these are speculation, and at worst pure fantasy. No one ever gives a source for these figures, neither does anyone explain the methodology used to arrive at them and I strongly suspect they have been contrived to serve the purposes of an election campaign,'' said Nason, as he wondered if there is not a single penny of Indian "black" money in London, New York, Hong Kong or Singapore. 

"Swiss banks have no interest at all in attracting dirty money and well-established procedures exist to identify, freeze and report funds of possible criminal origin and also to give international legal assistance to foreign countries investigating crimes,'' he added. 


"We have noticed, however, that in some countries, and, of course, India is not one of them, where justice is a commodity purchased by the kilo like potatoes and the system of international judicial assistance in criminal matters has been abused to frame, damage or destroy political or commercial rivals. We have thus urged the Swiss authorities to examine each request carefully to make sure a real crime is involved,'' he said. 
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Milap Choraria 
:National Convenor : Movement for Accountability to Public (MAP)