Multi-agency probe in Pandora Papers

NEW DELHI :

The government on Monday ordered a multi-agency probe, monitored by Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT chairman J.B. Mohapatra, into leaked papers that show how prominent Indians are allegedly evading taxes by using tax havens.

The names figure in leaked so-called Pandora Papers accessed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). “The government has taken note of these developments. The relevant investigative agencies would undertake investigation in these cases and appropriate action would be taken in such cases as per law. With a view to ensure effective investigation in these cases, the government will also proactively engage with foreign jurisdictions for obtaining information in respect of relevant taxpayers/entities. The Government of India is also part of an Inter-Governmental Group that ensures collaboration and experience sharing to effectively address tax risks associated with such leaks,” the finance ministry said.

The multi-agency probe will also have representatives from the CBDT, Enforcement Directorate, Reserve Bank of India and the Financial Intelligence Unit.

However, the finance ministry said names of only a few Indians (legal entities as well as individuals) have appeared so far in media. “Even the ICIJ website (www.icij.org) has not yet released the names and other particulars of all the entities. The website of the ICIJ suggests that information will be released in phases and structured data connected to the Pandora Papers investigation will be released only in the days to come on its Offshore Leaks Database,” it said.

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