Not every off-shore company need be illegitimate: Rajan

Mumbai, April 5:

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan on Tuesday said not every off-shore company opened by an Indian national need be illegitimate and that this will be primary task of the probe team in which the central bank has also been co-opted.


Raghuram Rajan’s reference was to the “Panama Papers” expose, naming Indian nationals with offshore links.

“We are in the investigation team on ‘Panama Papers’. We will have to see what is legitimate and what is not. That is a part of the investigation process,” Rajan told a press conference here after presenting the monetary policy for this fiscal.

“It’s important to remember that there are legitimate reasons, too, to have accounts overseas.”

Deputy Governor H.R. Khan said the primary investigation into the matter will only determine if any violation has taken place.

“A lot of things are permitted, a lot of things aren’t. There are a grey areas too,” Khan said. “All of it will be known once the investigation is complete.”

The comments come a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a multi-agency probe team on the expose, conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) along with over 100 global media organisations, dubbed the “Panama Papers”.

“A multi-agency group is being formed to monitor the black money trail,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had told reporters here, after he met with the prime minister.

The team will comprise officers from the Central Board of Direct Taxes’ Financial Intelligence Unit, the board’s Tax Research Unit, and also officials from the Reserve Bank of India, the finance ministry said in a statement. (IANS)

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