The government has ordered a probe of case related to the latest leak of offshore financial records ‘Pandora papers.’ In order to probe effectively, the government will also proactively engage with foreign jurisdictions for obtaining information in respect of relevant taxpayers/ entities, the finance ministry said in a statement.
Headed by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman, the probe will be monitored through a multi-agency group, CBDT representatives, enforcement directorate, the Reserve Bank of India and the Financial Intelligence Unit. The Government of India is part of an Inter-Governmental Group that ensures collaboration and experience sharing to effectively address tax risks associated with such leaks, the ministry added.
On 3rd October, the International Consortium of International Journalists (ICIJ) obtained confidential documents that expose tax haven secrecy. It is claimed to be a 2.94 terabyte data trove that exposes the offshore secrets of wealthy elites from more than 200 countries and territories, including India.
However, earlier leaks in the form of ICIJ, HSBC, Panama Papers and Paradise Papers, the government had enacted the Black money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, to curb black money by imposing suitable tax and penalty on such income.
In this regard the ministry has informed that “Undisclosed credits of Rs 20,352 crore approximately (status as on 15.09.2021) have been detected in the investigations carried out in the Panama and Paradise Papers.”