13 Apr : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the UPA govt swung into action to unearth unaccounted Indian money lying abroad after some instances of such funds in Germany and Switzerland were brought to its notice.
"There have been some instances recently where these things came to our notice with regard to Germany, with regard to Switzerland. I think contact is being established with the relevant authorities to provide necessary information," he said while addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Monday.
"As far as our comments are concerned, whatever action is necessary to unearth the black money held in India or held abroad, we will take action," Singh said.
He further said there would be flow of information between the tax authorities and the banking sector once the G-20 Summit decisions to regulate the tax havens are implemented.
The Prime Minister also dismissed the claims of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L K Advani regarding estimates of black money by describing them as a figment of imagination.
The BJP in its election manifesto has said that unaccounted money in overseas banks amount to Rs 25-75 lakh crore, an amount large enough to allocate Rs 4 crore for development of each village in the country.
"With regard to what Advani … or (what) BJP has published, I think, this is a figment of imagination. Nobody has, I think, those figures … I really can’t say thinking about their veracity, but I invite you to read an article appeared in Telegraph … which debunks the estimates of black money," the Prime Minister said.
Replying questions on Indian economy, he said the government had anticipated the global financial problems and took pre-emptive measures to neutralise its impact on the country’s economy.
"The global economy is in deep trouble and we are affected by it … but because of the measures that we have taken and we had anticipated something (global crisis) of this sort, the impact on our economy is not as great as the impact on many other countries," he said.
"We have recorded a growth rate of 9 per cent in the first four years of our government. Last year (2008-09), because of the impact of the global recession, the growth rate was slightly less than 7 per cent," he said adding, the country has been taking both fiscal and monetary measures to arrest economic slowdown.
Regulatory structure strong to prevent Satyam-like fraud: PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the country’s regulatory structure is strong enough to prevent a Satyam-like fraud in future.
"This (Satyam fraud) was confined to only one… I am confidant that our regulatory system has the resilience and the strength to ensure that no such Satyam will further take place," he said, while addressing a conference in Mumbai on Monday.
Declining to comment on the sale of Satyam Computer Services, Singh said: "I am not familiar with it. There is a board which takes these decisions. They must have done their best. I think the whole world appreciates India."
The government superseded the board of Satyam following the admission of the multi-crore rupee accounting fraud by the founder of the IT company B Ramalinga Raju.
The government-nominated Satyam board on Monday declared Tech Mahindra, a software company promoted by industrial house Mahindra and Mahindra, as the highest bidder to take over a 31 percent stake in Satyam.
The final decision for sale of the crisis-ridden company will be taken by the Company Law Board (CLB).
PM says BJP leader Advani is weak in action
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh took a dig at L K Advani in a press conference on Monday saying that the BJP leader has unique ability to combine strength in speech with weakness in action.
Dr. Singh came down heavily on L K Advani saying that the latter agreed to release the terrorists and subjected cabinet colleague Jaswant Singh to the humiliation of having personally escorted the terrorists during Kandahar episode to their safe haven.
PM said that unlike Advani, he will not be found weeping in a corner while hoodlums tear down a centuries-old mosque, an obvious reference to the razing of Babri Masjid.
"I will not say things in Pakistan that offend every Indian and then abandon my stand when it becomes politically inconvenient within my party", said the PM, in a reference to Advani’s pro-Jinnah comments.
Govt will go step by step to ensure punishment to Kasab: PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the government will go "step by step" to ensure punishment to Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone arrested terrorist in Mumbai attacks.
Asked like Afzal Guru’s case, Kasab’s punishment will not be carried out if the latter is sentenced to death in the Mumbai attacks case, Singh said, "There is a rule of law in the country. Due process of law will be followed. We will go step by step (to ensure punishment to Kasab)."
Afzal Guru convicted of conspiracy in Parliament attack case in 2001, was sentenced to capital punishment by Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the trial into the Mumbai terror attacks case will commence on 15th April when Kasab, for the first time, will appear before the special court housed at high security Arthur Road central jail in Mumbai.