05/05/2015 7:01 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Don't Have An Estimate Of Black Money Stashed Abroad, Says Jaitley

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A cashier counts US dollars at a currency exchange office in Caracas on February 19, 2015. The Venezuelan bolivar opened Thursday at 172 to the dollar on the first day of a government sponsored exchange meant to compete with the black market. The opening rate was 27 times the official rates of 6.3 to the dollar, available only for priority imports like food and medicine. The leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro earlier this month partially liberalized the country's system of strict currency controls by allowing banks and brokerage houses to sell dollars at what the market will bear. AFP PHOTO / FEDERICO PARRA (Photo credit should read FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — The governments of Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Spain have not provided details of any black money accounts, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday. This is a setback for the government, which had promised to bring back black money stashed in accounts abroad.

"No black money account details have been provided by Switzerland, UK or Spain," he said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha. "However, in specific cases, on requests made, necessary information is provided by the countries with which India has a tax treaty," he added.

Observing that there were no official estimates of the black money within the country or stashed abroad, the minister said the government was examining the reports of the three institutes -- NIPFP, NCAER and NIFM -- on the issue.

Replying to a separate question on the amount of black money taken out of country during 2012, Jaitley said, the figure of Rs 6 lakh crore was based on a report of the Global Financial Integrity, a Washington-based organisation.

"Varying estimations of the amount of illicit money moving out of the country have been reported by different persons/institutions. Such estimations are based upon different sets of facts, data, methods, assumptions etc. leading to varying inferences. "There is no official estimation of the amount of black money stashed abroad/black money taken out of country."

The government had in March 2011 had asked the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM) to estimate unaccounted income and wealth inside and outside the country.

"Reports received from these institutes are under examination of the government," he added. He further said that government took host of measures including introduction of a comprehensive law in the Lok Sabha to deal with the black money stashed abroad.

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