Congress President Rahul Gandhi criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly failing to keep his promises about curbing black money in the country. Gandhi took a swipe at Modi after the Swiss National Bank’s annual report on Thursday said that Indian deposits in Swiss banks had increased 50% over the previous year to reach over Rs 7,000 crore in 2017.
Modi had in 2014 promised to bring back black money from Swiss banks and deposit Rs 15 lakh in the bank account of every Indian, Gandhi said, adding that the prime minister, in 2016, had claimed demonetisation would wipe out black money. But in 2018, Modi is claiming that the money in Swiss banks is “white” and not “black”, he said.
The Congress also criticised the Centre through its official Twitter handle. “Swiss bank deposits fell during Manmohan Singh’s time [as prime minister], only to rise to record levels under Modi,” the party said. “The current increase of 50.2% post demonetisation, is the maximum since 2004.”
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury tweeted that the rise in funds parked in Swiss banks was not surprising. He claimed that the Modi government “writes off lakhs of crores of unpaid loans of crony corporates, businessmen flee India after looting public money under his watch”. He said Modi has merely “insulted and humiliated” Indians.
Communist Party of India leader D Raja demanded an explanation from the Centre, PTI reported.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in a tweet: “Swiss money flying, India losing.”
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, however, appeared to blame Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia for the increase in deposits.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has claimed that the money parked in Swiss banks by “Indians” could have been deposited by Persons of Indian Origin with a foreign passport, Non-Residential Indians and Indian residents who made legitimate investments. He said that the Centre could only prosecute those who were Indian residents and had made illegal deposits.
Jaitley, who held the finance portfolio, is recuperating after a kidney transplant in May, while Piyush Goyal handles finance in his absence. Goyal on Friday claimed that India would receive all the data on black money from Switzerland by the end of the 2019 financial year.