Jaitley says illegal account holders in Panama Papers leak will have sleepless night


Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that the newly set up multi-agency group to investigate illegal account holders in Panama Papers leak was analysing each and every account carefully.

He said that those having illegal holdings will not “get sleep at night.”

Panama Papers, disclosed by Indian Express earlier this week disclosed a list of nearly 500 Indians including celebrities and industrialists who allegedly stashed money in offshore entities in Panama, considered to be a tax haven.

Among prominent names disclosed so far are Amitabh Bachchan, elder Adani brother, underworld don Iqbal Mirchi, lawyer Harish Salve and sports promoter Lokesh Sharma among others.

Sharma once an ‘agarbatti-seller’ had once alleged to have benefited from a contract of the Delhi District Cricket Association during Jaitley’s time as president.

Jaitley told ETV, “Now these Panama names have came into the limelight. In last three days we have formed a group. We are analysing each and every account to find which is legal and which is illegal. Those who are having legal accounts, they need not worry and those having illegal accounts won’t get sleep at night.”

On Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s direction, the central government had set up a group comprising of officials from the RBI, I-T Department, Financial Intelligence Unit and Foreign Tax and Tax Research to investigate whether the money deposited in the tax heaven are legal or illegal.

“Those people who have kept it illegally, we will try to detect it fully. And I think that soon every thing will be made clear,” Jaitley was quoted by PTI.

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan had said on Tuesday that the multi-agency probe will look into the legitimacy of such holdings of Indians named in the leaked Panama list.

He had ,however, warned not to conclude that every offshore account holders had indulged in illegal practice.

He had said that it was important to note that there were legitimate reasons to have accounts outside and the LRS scheme allows you to take money outside.

Under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS), all resident individuals, including minors, are allowed to freely remit up to USD 2,50,000 per financial year for any permissible current or capital account transaction or a combination of both. .