Top five countries having deposits in Swiss Bank Association:
India—- $1,456 billion (Public loot since 1947) Scams in India since Independence
Russia —$ 470 billion
UK ——-$390 billion
Ukraine – $100 billion
China —–$ 96 billion
According to Global Financial Integrity Indian politicians, IAS, IRS, IPS and people from entertainment and sports industry have deposited $ 325 billion in last five years in Swiss accounts. This may be the picture of deposits in Swiss banks only. What about other international destinations? There are presumably more than 70 Tax havens in the world. Indian wealth could be more in Switzerland and various British /US islands. At least forty countries market themselves aggressively as tax havens. India has more money in Swiss banks than all the other countries combined.
Interestingly Swiss government agreed to disclose the names of the account holders only if the respective governments formally asked for it but Indian govt. is not asking for the details. Annually more than 100,000 Indians travel to Switzerland, of whom 35,000 travel very frequently. A few corrupt Indians have 1.5 trillion dollars of black money.
India and Switzerland signed the amended Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty, which will help the government seek details about the ill-gotten money allegedly stashed away by Indians in Swiss banks. ‘Our government has to ratify the amended treaty. It is just a formality. The Indian government has informed us that the treaty has been ratified by it’.
A large number of Indians are alleged to have assets worth billions of dollars in banks in Switzerland. And the issue of Indians having secret Swiss bank accounts was a poll plank during last year’s general elections. The German government has announced that it would share information on accounts held in the tax haven with any government that wants it, for free. Intriguingly, Indian government was silent on this issue and did not approach the German government for a long time for a look into that data. Later, it wrote a cursory letter under pressure from Opposition but has not disclosed the response of the German government.
It is common knowledge that trillions of dollars of Indian money is in various tax heavens like Antigua, Switzerland, Bahamas, Liechtenstein, Isle of Man, and St Kitts, etc. In a socialistic way, all leaders, be they from business, politics, film, sports or bureaucracy, participated in creating what we may call secular wealth cutting across caste and creed. Also, good portion of the defense commissions were settled abroad. Plus some of our bureaucrats and entertainers and artists have also accumulated wealth abroad. This lobby is well-entrenched and one of the main losers in the appreciation of the rupee.
Worst part of the story is the loss of these deposits to Swiss banks themselves up on the death of some of these depositors who have not passed on the relevant account information to their progeny. These are operated using codes but most of them require passport and its number as a proof. That is the reason one finds some persons traveling to Switzerland with all expired passports. Zurich is the only European town which has Hindi slogans written on the side of its trams. Of course it is supposedly linked to Bollywood, but the India traffic to Zurich has to be seen to be believed.
It is estimated that between $500 billion and $1,400 billion is hoarded in Swiss banks and add with that the money stashed in territories like Virgin islands and Bahamas and other assorted tax havens. We need to take steps to bring it back to India. The mechanics can be worked out in terms of amnesty and Swiss bonds issued against these dollars. It can tremendously boost our foreign exchange reserves and facilitate infrastructure investment.
“No criminals” in politics is a good campaign. But can we have leaders with funds stashed abroad? The black money abroad is the Gangotri of all crimes.