Jaswant Singh takes on UPA, says White Paper on black money is like 'bikini'
New Delhi, May 21 (ANI): Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh on Monday poked fun at the White Paper on black money tabled by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Lok Sabha, saying it is like a 'bikini' as it hides the essentials and exposes only the non-essentials.
"This white paper, is in reality, almost a non-paper. It is really rather like a bikini because it conceals all the essentials and exposes only the non-essentials. The statement will explain everything to you, because it fails to communicate to our concerned citizens answers to such questions that has been troubling the country," said Singh.
"Principled amongst the lacuna and the glaring shortcomings are firstly, the quantum of black money," he added.
Singh also hit out at Mukherjee for the presentation of such a report that had no value to solve the issue.
"The honourable Finance Minister has at the very beginning in his presidatory remarks, has said that in the absence of some reports that he is expecting perhaps by the end of the year, the magnitude of black money has not been possible for him to say that to the country," he said.
The BJP leader was also of the view that several key points in the report have not been addressed, which leaves out a lot to be desired.
"From this table, it is seen that the bank deposits of Indians in Swiss banks have decreased from Rs. 23,373 crores in 2006 to Rs. 9,295 crores in 2010. So about Rs. 14,000 odd crores were withdrawn or shifted elsewhere. I would like to know as to why the government has not shared where this money has gone? Has it come back to India? Or has it been deposited elsewhere outside of Switzerland or in another tax haven?" said Singh.
Singh pointed out that no names had been given in the report, which doesn't help in nabbing the culprits holding black money abroad.
"The report unfortunately is said sadly not explaining to us the steps taken by the government for the repatriation of the funds that are now disclosed and admitted despite public outcry on this issue. And of course, the names of the accounts and the account holders illegally holding money abroad are also not shared in the report," he said.
The White Paper tabled by Mukherjee in the Lok Sabha earlier in the day did not provide government's estimate of black money, within and outside the country, though it quoted various estimates of other agencies on the issue.
The document, however, pitched for fast-track courts to expeditiously deal with financial offences and deterrent punishment for offenders.
It has also suggested tax incentives for encouraging use of debit and credit cards as these leave audit trails. (ANI)
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