An official statement said on Monday that a multi-agency group headed by the CBDT chairman will oversee the investigation of the Pandora Papers case. The ‘Pandora Papers’, which revealed the financial assets of wealthy individuals around the world, names more than 300 wealthy Indians, and many Indians have dismissed allegations of wrongdoing.
“Government takes note of data trove in ‘Pandora Papers’ leak. Government issues directive that cases of Pandora Papers leaks appearing in the media under the name ‘Pandora Papers’ shall be investigated through a multi-agency group headed by Chairman , CBDT,” Income Tax India said through a Twitter post.
The ‘Pandora Papers’, a leak of financial records in offshore tax havens, has been obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in a statement said that the government has taken note of this and the concerned investigative agencies will investigate these matters and appropriate action will be taken as per law.
“Government has directed today that, the cases of Pandora Papers leak appearing in the media under the name ‘Pandora Papers’ shall be investigated through a Multi Agency Group headed by Chairman, CBDT consisting of representatives of CBDT, ED, RBI. FIU,” said the CBDT, which is the apex decision making body on income tax matters.
To ensure effective investigation of these matters, the Government will also actively engage with foreign jurisdictions to obtain information on relevant taxpayers/entities. “The Government of India is also part of an inter-governmental grouping to ensure cooperation and experience sharing to effectively address the tax risks associated with such leaks,” the CBDT said.
It further said that so far the names of only a few Indians (legal entities as well as individuals) have appeared in the media. Even the ICIJ website has not yet released the names and other details of all the entities.
The ICIJ website suggests the information will be released in phases and that structured data related to the Pandora Papers investigation will be released on its offshore leaks database in the coming days.