Panama Papers: India sets up multi-agency probe team

New Delhi: India on Monday set up a multi-agency probe team to investigate and monitor the global expose by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), dubbed the "Panama Papers", which found over 500 Indians also had alleged offshore links.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the reporters on Monday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had discussed the matter with him and on his advice a multi-agency probe team, comprising of officials from Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had been set up.

"A multi-agency group is being formed to monitor the black money trail," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said here after the expose was published in The Indian Express. 

"The group will monitor the flow of information in each one of the case. The government will take all the necessary actions as required to get maximum information from all sources including from foreign governments to help in the investigation process," he added.

"The government is committed to detecting and preventing the generation of black money. In this context the expose of Panama Papers will further help the government in meeting the objective," the finance ministry said in a statement.

"The recent initiative of 'Base Erosion' and 'Profit Shifting' (BEPS) will help India and other countries in checking the practice of tax-avoidance through such tax havens. India is also fully committed to the BEPS initiative," it added.

In India, the English daily published several pages of the investigation reports allegedly naming Bollywood superstars Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, industrialists Vinod Adani, Sameer Gehlaut and politicians Shishir Bajoria and Anurag Kejriwal among others.

(With agency inputs)

News24 Bureau