Mohandas Pai
Various changes have to be brought in so that Start up India is a success, Mohandas Pai said. Picture: Manipal Global Education Chairman Mohandas Pai.IANS

Calling the Narendra Modi government's drive to unearth black money held by the country's citizens a "joke", former director of Infosys T V Mohandas Pai said on Wednesday the government does not have enough policy, as well as legal and intelligence strength, to deal with the issue.

"The whole black money strategy has been a joke. The law (to unearth black money) is badly drafted and it is unworkable. Nobody will pay 60% tax to stay in this country. And secondly, your black money action should be based on better policy and better intelligence," Pai, currently chairman of Manipal Global Education Services, told PTI in an interview.

Pai, also former chief financial officer of Infosys, said the black money issue is a "big failure" of the Modi government. He also said intelligence and prosecution need to be improved to tackle the issue.

"It (the government) does not have super intelligence yet. It does not have superior prosecution capabilities, and unless they get better intelligence, they are able to prosecute better, they set up fast-track courts, things are not going to work," he said.

As part of its crackdown on black money, the Modi government has since last year been requesting Swiss officials to reveal names of Indians having accounts in Swiss banks. The NDA government had promised during its election campaign last May to bring back black money stashed outside the country.

In May this year, the Swiss officials publicly named seven Indians in Switzerland's Federal Gazette as holding Swiss bank accounts, including noted businessman Yash Birla, son-in-law of late realty and liquor baron Ponty Chadha.

"Black money is not waiting in foreign banks for you to go and get information. There are sophisticated structures; government should find out what these structures are, who is doing it and how it's being done," said Pai.

The government should possess "special prosecution powers" to tackle black money holders, he said. "There is a lot of corruption in the ports. They must set up special investigation teams, appoint special prosecutors, build up capacity, add special courts, try them (offenders) and put them in jail within six months, not five years or 10 years. If you don't do that, nothing will work," he added.

Pai alleged that tax terrorism hasn't ended in the county even as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has repeatedly said the government is "stopping" it.

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