Believe in me, I will bring back black money, says Narendra Modi
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday
promised to get back every penny of the black money stashed in foreign banks,
days after his government was accused of making a U-turn on the issue.
He said the efforts to bring back black money stashed
abroad are on the ‘right track’ even as he acknowledged that there was no
correct estimate about how much money is kept illegally in foreign countries.
In an address to the nation over radio, he said that
bringing back black money from outside the country is an ‘article of faith’ for
him and nothing will be lacking in his efforts to do so.
The Prime Minister’s commitment to bring back black
money stashed abroad comes against the backdrop of the stand the government
first took in the Supreme Court last week about the inability to disclose the
names of the account holders in foreign banks because of the confidentially
clause in treaties with other countries.
It had maintained that disclosure of details of
account holders would hamper efforts to bring back black money. The government
beat a hasty retreat after the Supreme Court ordered it to disclose the names
of account holders in HSBC Geneva which amounted to 627 in number.
The government also came under attack from opposition
parties that it was going back on its election promise to unearth and bring
back black money stashed abroad.
Modi said there may be differences in approach on
getting this money back but he was committed to doing it and the nation should
have faith in him.
“As far as black money is concerned, you should have
faith on this ‘Pradhan Sevak’. For me, it is an article of faith. Every penny
of the money of poor people in this country, which has gone out, should return.
This is my commitment,” Modi said in Mann ki Baat programme on All India Radio.
“There may be differences over the approach and
procedures, which is natural in a democracy. But as far as my understanding
goes and on the basis of information I have, I can say we are on the right
track,” he said.
On the actual estimate about amount in illegal bank
accounts in foreign countries, the Prime Minister said, “Nobody knows, nor do I
know, nor does the government know, nor do you know, how much money is stashed
abroad. Even the previous government had no estimate.
“Everybody is making own assessment of figures. I do
not want to get involved in those figures. It is my commitment that whatever
amount, Rs 2, Rs 5, crores of rupees or whatever, this money belongs to the
poor people of this country and should come back.
“And I can assure you that nothing will be lacking in
my efforts. I only want your blessings to continue.” He asserted that whatever
has to be done, will be done at the earliest.