Black money list: Gold trader Chimanlal, ex-Dabur exec, miner Timblo named
The Central government today filed an additional affidavit in the Supreme Court in the black money case disclosing the names of three persons who have stashed away black money in foreign banks. The names revealed in the Supreme Court are: Pradip Burman, Pankaj Chimanlal and Radha S Timblo. No politicians were named.
While Burman is the former director of Dabur, Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhiya is a Rajkot based bullion trader and Radha S Timblo is a Goa based miner.
In 2012, the Supreme Court’s CEC (Central Empowered Committee) had noted that Goa Government had allowed Ms Radha S Timblo operate an illegal mine in Goa. A partnership firm comprising Timblo Pvt Ltd, Ms Radha S Timblo and others had managed to get a mining lease renewed by the Goa government in blatant violation of the law.
Reacting to the affidavit, the Burman Group said Pradeep Burman’s account was opened when Pradeep Burman was an NRI and was legally allowed to do so.
“Moreover, all the details regarding the account have been voluntarily filed with the Income Tax department and appropriate taxes have been paid. It is unfortunate that every person having a foreign bank account is being painted with the same brush, added the statement released by the Burman Group.
Bullion trader Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhiya said he was ‘shocked’ as he has no foreign accounts.
The affidavit is believed to clarify government’s earlier stand of not revealing the names of those account holders who have deposited money in foreign banks. The other names which have been doing the rounds, including politicians linked to the previous UPA government, would be revealed only if prosecution is launched against them.Sambit Patra, BJP Spokesperson, told CNN IBN that today is a historical day as fat as the fight against black money is concerned. ” Arun Jaitley had rightly maintained that we would reveal all the names but as per the procedures of the law. We are not adverse to revealing the names but they will all only be released as and when the chargesheet is filed and investigation is over,” Patra said when asked why the government had not revealed the name of UPA ministers who have stashed money abroad.
“If the Congress is sure about their credentials, then why are they worried if the list has some Congress names or not,” asked Patra.
The Narendra Modi government had promised to bring back black money but recently toed the line of the erstwhile UPA government by informing Supreme Court that it cannot make public such details. The government feels revealing all names without scrutiny about illegalities committed by them would be a violation of the right to privacy as any Indian under the RBI rules can legitimately deposit $1,25,000 in a foreign bank per year.
But while most believe that naming and shaming will be a good deterrent, Firstpost editor-in-chief R Jagannathan points out that, “the best thing to do is not to focus so much on the name-shame routine, but to put in place policies that prevent the generation of black money in the first place, and offer pragmatic amnesty schemes to bring back whatever illegal wealth is stashed away abroad.
The first thing to realise is that black money is as much as economic issue as a moral and ethical one. It gets generated when the laws allow the creation of rent-seeking opportunities in various industries (real estate, spectrum allotment, export and import regimes, special tax breaks for certain industries, etc). Hence the strategy should be: get the money back, and then name and shame those who fail to bring it in. Mere name-and-shame means no money will come in ever. It would be a pyrrhic victory against black money.”