Indian black money in Swiss banks down 80% under NDA: Government

INDIAN black money

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Indian black money deposits in Swiss banks went down by 34 per cent between 2016 and 2017 and by over 80 per cent since the BJP government came to power in 2014, an official statement said on Tuesday.

Referring to Swiss National Bank (SNB) data last month which showed that after falling for three years in succession, money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose 50 per cent to Swiss francs 1.02 billion in 2017 over the previous year, a Finance Ministry release here said that a more reliable source of Indian black money stashed in Swiss banks is available from the data which the SNB collects jointly with the Bank for International Settlements.

“More often than not, the media reports have not taken account of the way the (SNB) figures have to be interpreted, which has resulted in misleading headlines and analyses. Moreover, it is frequently assumed that any assets held by Indian residents in Switzerland are undeclared (so-called ‘Black Money’),” it said.

“However, the cited figures that show an increase of 50 per cent in Swiss banks’ total liabilities towards India also include non-deposit liabilities as well as business of Swiss branches located in India. To analyze Indian residents’ deposits held in Switzerland, another data source should be used.

“This is the so-called ‘locational banking statistics’, which the SNB collects in collaboration with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). This data source shows that the liabilities in the form of loans and deposits of Swiss-domiciled banks towards Indian non-banks decreased by 44 per cent between 2016 and 2017,” it added.

The Finance Ministry noted that BIS data showed “non-bank loans and deposits (which really constitute the individual and corporate deposits used as black money haven in the past and exclude inter-bank transactions) have fallen by 34.5 per cent in 2017 compared to 2016 ($524 million in 2017 versus $800 million in 2016)”.

It said Swiss non-bank loans and deposits have reduced by a significant 80.2 per cent under the NDA government between 2013 and 2017.

“This broadly corresponds SNB reports which show an 82 per cent reduction in total Indian customer deposits in Switzerland since 2013, though BIS data is the right way to measure actual deposits from India in Switzerland,” it added.

Speaking to reporters outside Parliament earlier on Tuesday, acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal refuted the allegations made by Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other opposition members in this regard.

“The Swiss government has informed us that the news being spread by Rahul Gandhi is baseless and that the figures quoted by some political leaders are completely irrelevant to this issue,” he said.