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Government taking concrete steps to bring back black money

Union ministers at press conference

New Delhi: The government is taking “concrete steps” to bring back black money stashed abroad, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said today and asked people to be “patient” for the outcome.

Rejecting Congress’ criticism of the government on the black money issue, Naidu said the current dispensation has adopted a specific approach for tackling the problem in contrast to how the previous UPA regime handled it.

“The Congress keeps on asking us — ‘What happened on the black money issue?’… But unlike them, we deliver on what we promise. In 50 years of their rule, the Congress couldn’t bring back black money. But we are taking concrete steps in that direction,” Naidu said.

Asking people to be “patient” on black money and other important issues, the Urban Development Minister said the government was just six months old and it should be given some more time to show its performance.

“Our government is about six months old and even a child takes nine months to be born. But we are taking all possible steps to improve the lives of the people,” he said after inaugurating an underpass in Sarita Vihar area of south Delhi.

The Supreme Court-constituted SIT, which has former Supreme Court judges M B Shah and Arijit Pasayat as its Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively, recently submitted its latest report on the black money menace wherein it has disclosed tracing of Rs 4,479 crore held by Indians in a Swiss bank and unaccounted wealth worth Rs 14,958 crore within India.

In the report, the SIT pointed out that more than 25 countries have made “tax crimes” a predicate offence.

India is seeking the cooperation of a number of foreign jurisdictions, including Switzerland, in cases of suspected black money, but its requests have been turned down in maximum number of such instances as tax evasion is not dealt under strict criminal laws, unlike money laundering provisions.

Naidu also reiterated the government’s stand on Pakistan granting bail to Mumbai attack handler Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and said it was “very unfortunate”.

The Union Minister also asked Pakistan to hand over to India Mumbai terror attack accused Hafiz Saeed and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

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