Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said that the deposits by Indians in Swiss banks cannot be assumed to be black money. The statement came after the official annual data was released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) on Thursday, which showed that the total funds held by all foreign clients of Swiss banks have risen about 3 per cent to CHF 1.46 trillion or about Rs 100 lakh crore in 2017.
Commenting on the data report, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said that the money cannot be termed as illegal transaction or black money. Strong action would be taken against those found guilty of any wrongdoing, he added.
India would start getting details of bank accounts from Switzerland under a bilateral treaty, the finance minister said.
Money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 per cent to CHF 1.01 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017, reversing a three-year downward trend amid India's clampdown on suspected black money stashed there.
In comparison, the total funds held by all foreign clients of Swiss banks rose about 3 per cent to CHF 1.46 trillion or about Rs 100 lakh crore in 2017, according to data released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB), the central banking authority of the Alpine nation.
India has a treaty with Switzerland under which the Swiss government would provide all data from January 1, 2018 till December 31, 2018. India would get the data as the accounting year ends, Goyal said.
Referring to the rise in Swiss bank deposits by Indians, Goyal said, "The data that you alluded to will come to us, so how are you assuming that this is black money or illegal transaction?"
Around 40 per cent of this money is because of the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS), Goyal said, citing media reports. The scheme was introduced by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Under the LRS, an individual could remit up to USD 2,50,000 per year.
"We will have all information. If someone is found guilty, the government will take strong action against them," Goyal said.