Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday took a dig at Narendra Modi over the rise in Indian money in Swiss banks, alleging that the prime minister says a 50-per cent jump in deposits by Indians is “white money” and that there is no “black money”.
“2014, HE said: I will bring back all the “BLACK” money in Swiss Banks & put 15 Lakhs in each Indian bank A/C. 2016, HE said: Demonetisation will cure India of “BLACK” money. 2018, HE says: 50% jump in Swiss Bank deposits by Indians, is “WHITE” money. No “BLACK” in Swiss Banks!(sic)” Gandhi said on Twitter, tagging a media report on the matter.
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.
The Congress also targeted the prime minister over his government’s claims of putting a clampdown on back money and said Swiss bank deposits during the UPA had fallen and the same has risen by 50 per cent under the Modi government.
“Swiss Bank deposits fell during Manmohan Singh’s time, only to rise to record levels under PM Modi. The current increase of 50.2 pc post demonetisation, is the maximum since 2004,” the party said on its Twitter handle.
“What happened to Prime Minister Modi’s promise of eradicating corruption and bringing back black money?” asked Congress spokesperson RPN Singh.
He asked the BJP of its promise of bringing back Rs 80 lakh crore of black money stashed abroad and put Rs 15 lakh in every bank account, but the reality is that instead of Modiji depositing Rs 15 lakh in every bank account, the money parked by Indians in Swiss banks has risen over 50 per cent to Rs 7,000 crore in 2017.
According to the official annual data released by Swiss National Bank (SNB), the central banking authority of the Alpine nation, 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.
The surge in Indian money held with Swiss banks comes as a surprise given India’s continuing clampdown on suspected black money stashed abroad, including in banks of Switzerland that used to be known for their famed secrecy walls for years.
The Indian money in Swiss banks had fallen by 45 per cent in 2016, marking their biggest ever yearly plunge, to CHF 676 million (about Rs 4,500 crore) — the lowest ever since the European nation began making the data public in 1987.
According to the SNB data, the total funds held by Indians directly with Swiss banks rose to 999 million Swiss franc (Rs 6,891 crore) in 2017, while the same held through fiduciaries or wealth managers increased to CHF 16.2 million (Rs 112 crore). These figures stood at CHF 664.8 million and CHF 11 million, respectively, at the end of 2016.