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India will act against black money: PM

April 13, 2009 17:43 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said the United Progressive Alliance government 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.

"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 dismissed the claims of Bharatiya Janata Party'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 to 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.

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