New Delhi: Congress MP Manish Tewari on Wednesday refuted senior BJP leader LK Advani's allegation that the UPA Government has been delaying action on black money. Tewari accused the NDA of politicising the problem of black money and pointed out that the Centre has been taking action against those involved in evading tax.
"It is wrong to say that the black money problem has been created by the UPA Government. This is a legacy issue," said Tewari.
Tewari said that every third dollar in the world being invested is routed through some tax havens and that black money being generated internally in India is also huge.
"Tax havens make laws simple and guarantee confidentiality and secrecy," stated Tewari.
Commenting on NDA's allegations, Tewari said, "NDA does not intend to bring black money back to India but to politicise black money. This is not a UPA vs NDA debate. We also want that the black money in foreign banks should come back to India."
Tewari also clarified that there is no difference in black money in foreign banks and Indian Banks. "I appreciate NDA MPs giving undertaking that they do not have black money in foreign banks. They should give a similar undertaking for banks in India as well," said Tewari.
The Congress MP also said that no body has any idea as to how much black money is deposited in foreign banks.
Pointing towards NDA's tenure, Tewari said, "NDA diluted the provisions under the law on black money. I request NDA not to dilute the issue of black money by politicising the matter."
He said the steps taken in the last few years towards reaching a solution on black money have yielded results.
On tax evader Hasan Ali's case, Tewari said, "France gave information about 70 people,who were made to pay the tax due on them and action taken against the guilty."
Earlier in the day, Advani brought to notice that this was the first time that black money was being discussed in Parliament.
Advani claimed that due to no action against the culprits, India has become a soft state. "We should recognise that because we haven't taken any action against the guilty in the black money cases, we are being seen as a soft state," he said.
Calling black money a part of corruption, Advani said, "The effects of corruption is the most devastating in the developing world. Corruption is a key element to inefficiency."
Quoting a report of the Global Financial Integrity on black money, Advani said, "Indians have an amount of Rs 25 lakh crore black money is in Swiss banks."
Appealing to the government to give details on the names given by French government, Advani said, "It will be shameful if we come to know about these through some whistleblower like Julian Assange of Wikileaks did some time back."