Wednesday, October 27, 2021

2017 Swiss Banks Deposits: Has India Lost The War on Black Money?

Despite demonetization, India’s crackdown on black money in India seems far from efficient. New data of Swiss Bank accounts of Indians show a massive hike in Swiss Banks deposits of Indians since 2017. Those with black money in India have led to a 50% hike in Swiss Bank deposits by Indians in 2017 as reported by the Press Trust of India. The money deposited by Indians in Swiss Banks rose to INR 700 crores last year. 

These latest figures on Swiss Bank Deposits by Indians show that the three-year downward trend in money hoarding has been reversed in 2017. Surprisingly this comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 announced demonetization as a major step to bust black money in India. While the deposits of clients of Swiss Banks from other nations rose 3%, India alone accounted for 50% rise in deposits in 2017. Has India lost its war against black money? Does the myth around the elimination of black money in India now stands busted?

In the year 2016,  the deposits by Indians in Swiss Banks fell by 45%. This marked the best yearly fall as per the deposits by India in Swiss Banks. Swiss Banks are preferred for they are tax havens and people find it very convenient to launder money and park it in the Swiss Banks. Funds by Indians in Swiss Banks was at a record high in the year 2006. Since then this is only the third time that funds by Indians in Swiss Banks have seen a rise. It rose by 12% in 2011 and then by 43% in 2013.

A special investigation team had been constituted by the Supreme Court of India to investigate the cases of black money in India. The SIT is also responsible for the investigation of money laundering including foreign deposits. Large Swiss Bank Deposits have been an issue for India since very long and it defines the state of corruption and money stashing in India. Now after these figures being revealed by the Swiss National Bank, India will have to draw new strategies to clamp down on the issue of black money.

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