Nepalis' de­posit in Swiss Bank in­creases sur­pris­ingly

People's Review - - FRONT PAGE - By Our Re­porter

Nepal is one of the least de­vel­oped coun­tries in the world and the poor­est na­tion in South Asia. But a re­cent rev­e­la­tion by the Swiss Na­tional Bank — the cen­tral bank of Switzer­land — shows oth­er­wise--funds parked by Nepalis in­creased by four times in a decade from 2008. Coin­ci­den­tally, more money from Nepal was found to be parked in the Swiss Banks since the Maoists reached the power sug­gest­ing whether the for­mer Maoist lead­ers, in­clud­ing Pushpa Ka­mal Da­hal, who are ac­cused of amass­ing prop­erty, have been de­posit­ing money from Nepal in Switzer­land over the years. In 2008, Nepalis had parked 86.22 mil­lion Swiss francs in the Swiss bank and at the end of 2017 the amount rose to 322.88 mil­lion Swiss francs. Ac­cord­ing to the amount parked in Swiss banks, Nepal ranks 109th among over 200 na­tions. The United King­dom, the United States of Amer­ica, the West Indies, France and Ger­many are in the top five spots. Though Nepali cit­i­zens are not al­lowed to trans­fer funds to for­eign bank ac­counts, funds parked by Nepalis in Swiss banks have sur­pris­ingly been in­creas­ing in a decade. Nepalis' fund, ac­cord­ing to the Bank, has been con­stantly ris­ing since 2014 when the parked amount of Nepalis reached 102.22 mil­lion Swiss francs It rose to 314. 43 mil­lion francs in 2015 and in 2017 it reached 322.88 mil­lion francs. Swiss banks main­tain strict pri­vacy of ac­count hold­ers, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to iden­tify in­di­vid­u­als park­ing funds in Swiss banks, but it is as­sumed that Nepali busi­ness peo­ple and politi­cians have been hold­ing such ac­counts in Swiss banks. Ob­vi­ously, the money parked by Nepalis in the Swiss Bank was si­phoned off il­le­gally through hundi, over-in­voic­ing in im­ports and other ways. A few years ago, the Panama Papers had re­vealed names of some Nepali busi­ness­men park­ing funds in tax havens. Politi­cians, busi­ness­men, bu­reau­crats, crim­i­nals and in­flu­en­tial peo­ple who have gath­ered wealth through il­le­gal means seek se­cret places to park funds and Swiss banks, which are renowned for main­tain­ing the se­crecy of their clients, have be­come safe place to keep their money. Dur­ing the Pan­chayat pe­riod, there were ru­mours that a Nepali woman named Pam­pha Devi had kept money in the Swiss Bank, and she was said to be the next name of noneother than late Queen Aish­warya. How­ever, this re­port was proved base­less, it was made a big is­sue for de­posit­ing the money in the for­eign bank dur­ing the 1990 po­lit­i­cal move­ment. But in 28, years sev­eral Pam­phas have born, the swelling funds of Nepalis in the Swiss Banks prove this. Ob­vi­ously, cor­rup­tion is ram­pant in the coun­try and the politi­cians them­selves are in­volved in the cor­rupt prac­tices and in pro­tect­ing the cor­rupt per­sons. As such, the prac­tice of de­posit­ing money in for­eign banks will not come un­der con­trol un­less a mer­ci­less crack-down is made on the cor­rupt politi­cians, bu­reau­crats and busi­ness­men.

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