Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Black money: Govt of India refuses info about action on whistleblower's expose of unaccounted money in HSBC

Falciani
By Our Representative
Yet another instance has come to light suggesting the Government of India isn’t keen on sharing information on black money. The Ministry of Finance has lately refused to part with official information on action taken following former Geneva-based HSBC Bank employee and whistleblower Herve Falciani’s leaked information on account holders who had stashed away black money in the bank.
A Right to Information (RTI) plea by senior activist of New Delhi-based advocacy group, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Venkatesh Nayak, had sought information, more than a month ago, copy of the letter reportedly written by Falciani to the Chairman, Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted following a Supreme Court order of 2011, and its responses sent by the SIT.
The RTI plea also sought copies of file notings of SIT, and also documents that contain details of action taken by SIT in pursuant to the letter of Falciani. More recently, Falciani wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chairperson, Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted in May 2014 to investigate unaccounted money stashed abroad.
While the RTI application was addressed to the Black Money SIT, attached with the Ministry of Finance, Nayak, ironically, received a reply from the Income Tax Department under the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). The latter rejected the application, especially citing “fiduciary relationship” provision of the RTI Act’s Section 8(1).
Comments Nayak, the reply suggests there appears to be “an inexplicable hesitation” about recognising Falciani as a whistleblower. The effort, instead, was to club him with “other persons who claim to be whistleblowers who have come forward to provide assistance in the investigation of black money stashed abroad.”
According to Nayak, by describing the relationship between the CBDT and a whistleblower as fiduciary, new standards are being set on secrecy, “which even the Supreme Court did not recognize.” Thus, in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) case “the Apex Court clarified that all and sundry relationships especially those governed by statutory requirements cannot be termed ‘fiduciary’ in nature.”
He quotes the Apex Court as saying, “It had long since come to our attention that the Public Information Officers (PIO) under the guise of one of the exceptions given under Section 8 of RTI Act, have evaded the general public from getting their hands on the rightful information that they are entitled to."
Significantly, Nayak says, the ruling runs count to the Prime Minister’s address, in October 2015, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the implementation of the RTI Act, where he said that citizens should not only have the right to get copies of documents but also ask question and demand accountability from public authorities, because the right to ask questions is the very foundation of democracy and it will reinforce their faith in democracy.
“Many PIOs seem to think otherwise thereby making a mockery of this promise. The black money issue is one of immense public interest as it links inextricably with the businessmen-criminal-politician-bureaucrat nexus, corruption, tax evasion, money laundering, round tripping and pure and plain criminality”, Nayak says.
“The Government releases very little information about the progress made by the SIT on black money”, says Nayak, adding, Only one set of answers to a query raised by an MP in the Lok Sabha is accessible on the website of Parliament for the ongoing Winter Session”, Nayak says, adding, “These answers focus on systemic changes required to be made or already effectuated by the Government.”

1 comment:

Hemen Parekh said...

How to conquer Corruption ?


There is only one sure - and superfast - way to get rid of corruption
By introducing :
* NEGATIVE MOTIVATION
Putting behind bars ( - and right away ; not after 6 years ) , every corrupt fellow and
immediately confiscating his ill-gotten wealth
* POSITIVE MOTIVATION
By abolishing Personal Income Tax and introducing Amnesty Scheme , incentivize
# converting of black money into white
# acceptance of all payments thru official channels

As far as providing " Negative Motivation " is concerned , I had sent following suggestion to our Hon Prime Minister / Finance Minister / other Ministers / Secretaries etc , on 4th Nov 2015 :

# INTERNET OF THINGS ( IoT )

As each currency note of Rs 500 / 1000 , is getting printed , embed it with microscopic
RFID chips ( with this , current cost of a RFID chip will fall from 50 paise to 5 paise )

Besides communicating with each other , these chips will also transmit their existence
location , through internet , to cloud-based servers of Income Tax Department

This will form a " NETWORK OF CURRENCY NOTES ( NoC ) "

You may like to call this Internet of Currency ( IoC ) , a sub-set of IoT !



# IP ADDRESS SYSTEM ( IP V 6.0 )

Each Rs 500 / 1000 currency note must be assigned ( at the time of printing ) , its own
unique Internet Address , using IP V 6.0

This IP address should be linked with the unique Serial Number printed on each note.

Since IP V 6.0 , will be capable of assigning " 2 * 10 to the power of 128 ", no of IP
addresses , there is no danger of running out of addresses , even if we decide to extend
this idea to Rs 100 currency notes !


Here are the most important BYE - PRODUCTs :

* No more possibility of fake / forged / counterfeit , currency notes

* No thief would ever want to steal such currency notes which continuously announce their
location

* No one would want to make any " Cash Deal " . All payments will become official only !

* Plastic currency notes will last 10 times longer !



This reform will enable the Central Government / Income Tax Department , to :


* Continuously trace the movement of each of these higher denomination currency notes


* Instantly locate any place ( using Google Map based GPS ) , where there is an
accumulation of more than Rs 1 Crore worth of currency notes

Such accumulation will be made to appear as a TAG CLOUD on the web site of IT Dept,
like thousands of balloons floating on a map of India , capable of being drilled down to
within 1 Sq Meter ! Of course , visible only to IT officers ; not to general public !

On each balloon , will appear a number announcing , " Amount of Cash here - Rs " !

This will vastly simplify the task of Anti Corruption Dept / Enforcement Dept etc
Of course , RBI will need to allow 6 month's time to the owners of current paper currency notes of Rs 500 / 1000 , to get these exchanged with new plastic notes before withdrawal of the old notes from circulation

Implementation of this suggestion , does NOT require passing of any BILL in Lok Sabha or being held to ransom in Rajya Sabha !

And it can be implemented in India , within ONE YEAR

But if Chinese President Xi Jinping comes to know about the practicality of this suggestion , he might implement it in 6 months !

How come ?

Simple ! Xi Jinping has the political will ! And no historical baggage !

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

hemen parekh

22 Dec 2015

( Also read blog " Network of Currency Notes " at : www.hemenparekh.in>Blogs )