New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: The Finance Ministry on Saturday dismissed the reports of massive augmentation in India's alleged black money in the Swiss Bank. The Finance Ministry's clarification came a day after annual data from Switzerland's central bank showed funds parked by Indian individuals and firms in Swiss banks, jumped to Rs 20,700 crore (CHF 2.55 billion) at the end of 2020 from Rs 6,625 crore (CHF 899 million) at the end of 2019.

The increase in aggregate funds of Indian clients with Swiss banks, from Rs 6,625 crore at the end of 2019, reverses a two-year declining trend and has taken the figure to the highest level in 13 years. It stood at a record high of nearly 6.5 billion Swiss francs in 2006, after which it has been mostly on a downward path, except for a few years including in 2011, 2013 and 2017, as per the Swiss National Bank (SNB) data.

In a clarification statement issued on Saturday, the finance ministry clarified that the official figures do not indicate the quantum of much-debated alleged black money held by Indians in Switzerland. "Further, these statistics do not include the money that Indians, NRIs or others might have in Swiss banks in the names of third-country entities", the ministry said.

“The funds held through fiduciaries has also more than halved from the end of 2019. The biggest increase is in ‘Other amounts due from customers. These are in form of bonds, securities and various other financial instruments,” the ministry further noted.

The Finance ministry also clarified that the massive jump in deposits by Indians in Swiss Bank accounts could be because of some other factors including increased business transactions by Indian companies, a hike in deposits of Indians in Swiss Bank branches in India among others.

"Further, the following factors could potentially explain the increase in deposits: Increase in the deposits held by Indian companies in Switzerland owing to increased business transactions; Increase in deposits owing to the business of Swiss Bank branches located in India; Increase in Interbank transactions between Swiss and Indian Banks; A capital increase for a subsidiary of a Swiss Company in India; Increase in the liabilities connected with the outstanding derivative financial instruments", the ministry said.

The Finance Ministry has further requested Swiss Authorities to provide relevant information on their claims of an increase in the funds of Indians parked in Swiss banks. "The Swiss authorities have been requested to provide the relevant facts along with their view on possible reasons for increase/decrease in the light of the media reports highlighted above".

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan