Paradise Papers: Jayant Sinha, Amitabh Bachchan among 714 Indians in tax-haven list
New Delhi: Union minister Jayant Sinha's name has cropped up in the leaked list of 'Paradise Papers' of companies having offshore entities globally even as he today said the transactions were not done for any "personal purpose".
Paradise Papers refer to 13.4 million files of financial data leaked from two firms. The files contain information about 19 tax havens. According to the Papers, Bermuda firm Appleby and Singapore-based Asiaciti helped the wealthy and powerful stash money abroad and evade taxes.
According to reports, prominent Indian corporates in Appleby database include Jindal Steel, Apollo Tyres, GMR Group, Havells, Hindujas, Emaar MGF, Videocon, the Hiranandani Group and DS Construction.
Jayant Sinha had worked with Omidyar Network as Managing Director in India and Omidyar Network had invested in a US company D.Light Design that has a subsidiary in Cayman Islands, according to a report based on the Paradise Papers investigation.
In a series of tweets today, Sinha said the transactions were legal and bonafide.
The transactions were undertaken on behalf of highly reputed world-leading organisations in my fiduciary role as partner at Omidyar Network and its designated representative on the D.Light Board, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation said.
"It is crucial to note that these transactions were done for D.Light as an Omidyar representative, and not for any personal purpose," he noted.
Sinha, who is a former venture capitalist, also said all these transactions have been fully disclosed to relevant authorities through all necessary filings as required.
"After leaving Omidyar Network, I was asked to continue on the D.Light Board as an independent director... On joining the Union Council of Ministers, I immediately resigned from D.Light Board and severed my involvement with the company," the minister said.
Sinha had earlier served as Minister of State for Finance.
The Paradise Papers is an investigation into offshore and banking assets carried out by the Indian Express with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
(With inputs from PTI)