Even as the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is facing criticism and even praise for the demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes — a move to weed out black money — reports reveal that under the Panama Papers probe, so far, about 415 Indians have come under the scanner.
The Panama Papers leak named several celebrities, politicians and businessmen across the world, including Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, Lionel Messi and Nawaz Sharif.
The Indian Express reports that India sent 198 references to 13 jurisdictions where Indians had set up offshore entities.
The Panama Papers leaks, released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists with The Indian Express in India seven months ago, had brought to light an unprecedented amount of information, including more than 11 million documents covering 210,000 companies in 21 offshore jurisdictions.
The Indian Express reports that the task-force headed by the Central Board of Direct Taxes, which was formed by the government after the Panama Papers were leaked, has apprised the government about the 415 names that include 70 NRIs and 184 who have admitted they are involved with the offshore companies against their names. The report suggests 70 of these 415 names were not traceable.
The task-force set up by the government also include Financial Intelligence Unit, the Reserve Bank of India and the Foreign Tax and Tax Research.
Right after the leak, the government had told the Parliament in April that notices had been sent to all those who were named in the list. "But tax laws in the country mandate that the names and details of the proceedings cannot be made public till cases are filed in courts," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said.
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