New Delhi: India can now sign treaties with five more countries in its pursuit to bring back black money stashed abroad with the Cabinet’s approval on such pacts on Friday.
Under the agreements, India can seek information regarding secret bank accounts. The five countries include Malta, Georgia and Uruguay, sources said.
India has already signed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements with 79 countries and modifications in such pacts were needed in 74 of them to broaden the scope of article of exchange of information to include exchange of banking information.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee earlier in February said negotiations for a total of 23 pacts in line with international standards have been completed and ten for Tax Information Exchange Agreements.
The Manmohan Singh government has been under attack from the Opposition, which has been alleging it of not doing enough to retrieve the black money.
Government has been insisting that it has been making all efforts to bring back the black money but it was going to be a long haul.
Detailing the steps being taken, Mukherjee recently said a five-pronged strategy to combat the menace of illicit funds generated both as a result of tax evasion and corruption has been formulated.
He said during the last 18 months, the government had collected tax on black money to the tune of Rs 34,601 crore and detected undisclosed income of about Rs 15,000 crore.