Posts Tagged 'indian money in swiss bank'

‘Indian money in Swiss & other banks is over Rs 70 lakh crore’

‘Indian money in Swiss & other banks is over Rs 70 lakh crore’
Vivek Kaul
Wednesday, April 1, 2009 2:41 IST
Mumbai: It is no secret that black money has been flowing out of the country into Swiss banks and other tax havens worldwide for years now. While there is no official estimate to quote yet, LK Advani, the prime ministerial candidate of BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, recently said it might be in the range of Rs 25,000 crore to Rs 75,000 crore. R Vaidyanathan, professor of finance at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and a regular columnist for DNA, feels the real figure is many times that number.
At around $1.4 trillion (over Rs 70 lakh crore), it is way over India’s gross domestic product of Rs 43 lakh crore for 2007-08, Vaidyanathan, who was on Tuesday named the head of a taskforce by Advani for preparing a strategic document to get back the national wealth, told DNA. Excerpts:

Which are the various tax havens where the ill-gotten wealth of Indian businessmen and politicians is stored?
There are presumably more than 70 tax havens in the world. Indian wealth could be more in Switzerland and various British/ US islands.

How much Indian money do you think would be locked away in Swiss banks? What is the basis for the estimate you make?
I make this estimate on the basis of a report titled “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2002–2006, Global Financial Integrity,” written by Dev Kar and Devon-Cartwright Smith. It was a project sponsored by the Ford Foundation and the final report was released sometime back in December 2008.
Financial flows in the context of this report include proceeds from both illicit activities such as corruption (bribery and embezzlement of national wealth), criminal activity, and the proceeds of licit business that become illicit when transported across borders in contravention of applicable laws and regulatory frameworks (most commonly in order to evade payment of taxes).
In 2006, the most recent year of the Global Financial Integrity (GFI) study, developing countries lost an estimated $858.6 billion to $1.06 trillion in illicit financial outflows. Even at the lower end of the range of estimates, the volume of illicit financial flows coming out of developing countries increased at a compound rate of 18.2% over the five-year period analysed for the study.

How much of this was siphoned out of India?
On an average, for the five-year period of this study, Asia accounts for approximately 50% of overall illicit financial flows from all developing countries. This report shows that the average amount moved from India annually during 2002-06 is $27.3 billion. This means, during the five-year period, the amount taken away is $27.3 billion x 5 = $136.5 billion.
It is not that all these amounts went to Swiss banks; it has gone to different tax and secret shelters. The share of Swiss banks in this dirty money is a third of the global aggregate; some $45 billion out of the 136.5 billion stashed away from India would have been hoarded in these years in Swiss banks. This appears in page 30 of the report mentioned above.
The important point is that this is only for five years. More amounts were stashed away during the Nehruvian socialist regime. So the loot for 55 years would be several times the amount. In fact, in those days, the Indian rupee commanded a better value per US dollar, so fewer rupees could get a dollar. Hence the estimation that Indian money stashed away may be of the order of $1.4 trillion.

How did the money get out?
There are several methods/ reasons — under-invoicing/ over-invoicing of exports and imports and getting the balance stored abroad; kickbacks from major defence/ civilian contracts; in the olden days, smuggling of gold and illegal money; transactions done abroad and not reported here; hawala funds; funds earned by artists/ entertainment industry/ sports people and stashed away abroad, etc. When you want to indulge in adharma, hundred ways are open.

Do you feel international terrorist organisations use the tax-haven route to send across money to finance their nefarious activities?
Even our national security advisor, M K Narayanan, has spoken about it in Berlin.
You recently wrote, “Under pressure from federal authorities, Swiss bank UBS is closing the hidden offshore accounts of its well-heeled American clients, potentially allowing their secrets to spill into the open.”

Do you feel the government of India should also demand all the Indian black money in Swiss banks back?
Of course, India should and must act. We are not a banana republic.

How can the government go about doing this?
By putting it on the global agenda. Put it in G20. Put it in IMF. Put it in Egmont Group. Also take a lead among all developing countries. Support US/ German/ French efforts.

Do you feel Swiss authorities and other tax havens will cooperate with us on this issue if we take the initiative?
It is not our pressure but that of the US, which will make them cooperate. When a family is in deep financial crisis, it tries to look at the small amount saved under the sugar jar by grandma. In the same way, developed economies are desperate for every dollar.
Even if we do not act due to their efforts, the list of crooks may be out. Then, we will be in a dangerous social situation since the who’s who of India will be there. Instead, we should get the list and get the funds and decide on the steps to sterilise it and the punishment to be given out, etc. Otherwise the world will laugh at us. We will be worse than a Nigeria (Sani Abacha) or Phillipines (Markose).

Do you feel the government will do this, given that a lot of the black money belongs to politicians?
Public pressure will make them do it. Plus, the evolving global situation against tax havens also might act in our favour. The money belongs to the poor farmers and unorganised workers.

Do you see businessmen applying pressure on the government to thwart any attempt to get back this money?
The world situation is such that Indian businessmen will want to bring it back now, given the attractive returns in India. The entire proprietary notes route to invest in the stock market was conceived for that.

You wrote in one of your columns that the German foreign intelligence agency BND got the names of 1,400 clients of the Liechtenstein- based LTG Bank who were suspected tax evaders. Of the 1,400, only 600 were supposed to be Germans. Do you think the rest would include Indians? Has the Indian government approached the
German government for the list?
Indian names will be there. Our tax evaders and crooks are like Maha Vishnu, present in all continents and all tax havens, in the sea, on the earth, in the air. But our government has been lukewarm in its response to this issue. It should have immediately dispatched senior officials and the finance minister to get the names.

IS INDIA A POOR COUNTRY? – Revelation of Swiss bank accounts

IS INDIA A POOR COUNTRY?

by M R Venkatesh

Revelation of Swiss bank accounts

This is so shocking…….If black money deposits was an Olympics event…. India would have won a gold medal hands down. The second best Russia has 4 times lesser deposit. U.S. is not even there in the counting in top five! India has more money in Swiss banks than all the other countries combined!

Recently, due to international pressure, the Swiss government agreed to disclose the names of the account holders only if the respective governments formally asked for it. Indian government is not asking for the details…….no marks for guessing why?

We need to start a movement to pressurise the government to do so! This is perhaps the only way, and a golden opportunity, to expose the high and mighty and weed out corruption!

Please read on……and forward to all the honest Indians to…..like somebody is forwarding to you…….and build a ground-swell of support for action!

Is India poor, who says? Ask the Swiss banks. With personal account deposit bank of $1,500 billion in foreign reserve which have been misappropriated, an amount 13 times larger than the country’s foreign debt, one needs to rethink if India is a poor country?

DISHONEST INDUSTRIALISTS, scandalous politicians and corrupt IAS, IRS, IPS officers have deposited in foreign banks in their illegal personal accounts a sum of about $1500 billion, which have been misappropriated by them. This amount is about 13 times larger than the country’s foreign debt. With this amount 45 crore poor people can get Rs 1,00,000 each. This huge amount has been appropriated from the people of India by exploiting and betraying them. Once this huge amount of black money and property comes back to India , the entire foreign debt can be repaid in 24 hours. After paying the entire foreign debt, we will have surplus amount, almost 12 times larger than the foreign debt. If this surplus amount is invested in earning interest, the amount of interest will be more than the annual budget of the Central government. So even if all the taxes are abolished, then also the Central government will be able to maintain the country very comfortably.

Some 80,000 people travel to Switzerland every year, of whom 25,000 travel very frequently. ‘Obviously, these people won’t be tourists. They must be travelling there for some other reason,’ believes an official involved in tracking illegal money. And, clearly, he isn’t referring to the commerce ministry bureaucrats who’ve been flitting in and out of Geneva ever since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations went into a tailspin!

Just read the following details and note how these dishonest industrialists, scandalous politicians, corrupt officers, cricketers, film actors, illegal sex trade and protected wildlife operators, to name just a few, sucked this country’s wealth and prosperity. This may be the picture of deposits in Swiss banks only. What about other international banks?

Black money in Swiss banks — Swiss Banking Association report, 2006 details bank deposits in the territory of Switzerland by nationals of following countries:

TOP FIVE
INDIA $1,456 BILLION
RUSSIA $470 BILLION
U.K. $390 BILLION
UKRAINE $100 BILLION
CHINA $96 BILLION

Now do the math’s – India with $1,456 billion or $1.4 trillion has more money in Swiss banks than rest of the world combined. Public loot since 1947:

Can we bring back our money? It is one of the biggest loots witnessed by mankind — the loot of the Aam Aadmi (common man) since 1947, by his brethren occupying public office. It has been orchestrated by politicians, bureaucrats and some businessmen.

The list is almost all-encompassing. No wonder, everyone in India loots with impunity and without any fear. What is even more depressing in that this ill-gotten wealth of ours has been stashed away abroad into secret bank accounts located in some of the world’s best known tax havens. And to that extent the Indian economy has been stripped of its wealth. Ordinary Indians may not be exactly aware of how such secret accounts operate and what are the rules and regulations that go on to govern such tax havens. However, one may well be aware of ‘Swiss bank accounts,’ the shorthand for murky dealings, secrecy and of course pilferage from developing countries into rich developed ones.

In fact, some finance experts and economists believe tax havens to be a conspiracy of the western world against the poor countries. By allowing the proliferation of tax havens in the twentieth century, the western world explicitly encourages the movement of scarce capital from the developing countries to the rich. In March 2005, the Tax Justice Network (TJN) published a research finding demonstrating that $11.5 trillion of personal wealth was held offshore by rich individuals across the globe.

The findings estimated that a large proportion of this wealth was managed from some 70 tax havens. Further, augmenting these studies of TJN, Raymond Baker — in his widely celebrated book titled ‘Capitalism’s Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free Market System’ — estimates that at least $5 trillion have been shifted out of poorer countries to the West since the mid-1970.

It is further estimated by experts that one per cent of the world’s population holds more than 57 per cent of total global wealth, routing it invariably through these tax havens. How much of this is from India is anybody’s guess.

What is to be noted here is that most of the wealth of Indians parked in these tax havens is illegitimate money acquired through corrupt means. Naturally, the secrecy associated with the bank accounts in such places is central to the issue, not their low tax rates as the term ‘tax havens’ suggests. Remember Bofors and how India could not trace the ultimate beneficiary of those transactions because of the secrecy associated with these bank accounts?

IS THERE ANYONE WHO CAN SAVE INDIA ?