BJD seeks probe against Baijayant Panda

New Delhi: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Tuesday sought a probe against former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda , his wife Jagi Mangat Panda for alleged violation of laws in connection with foreign exchange regulation and money laundering.

BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab raised the issues in Lok Sabha regarding the bank accounts of Pandas in foreign country.

“An Indian passport holder did not take the approval of the government or the RBI before the companies, in which the person and his wife and his family friends have controlling and beneficial interests, opened bank accounts in the tax haven of Nassau, Bahamas. I am talking about  B J Panda,” Mahatab said in the floor of the House.

Mahatab also questioned, “Did he (Panda) declare the account to RBI once he returned to India and ceased to be an NRI as required under the law? Did Mr Panda intimate the RBI and the government when closing the account and did he repatriate the entire amount held in these foreign bank accounts as is required in the law?”

The Cuttack MP further said, “If not he (Panda) is liable for criminal prosecution under several Indian laws relating to foreign exchange violation and money laundering.”

However, Panda denied the allegations and said that neither his family companies nor he has any bank account in Bahamas.

“I have no account in Bahamas. Neither do any of our family companies. For 60 years various family companies have done business dealings all over the world. These are all through official channels and with intimation and approval of concerned authorities like RBI etc and are in the public domain,” Panda said in a release.

On January 24 last year, Panda was suspended from the primary membership of BJD for his alleged anti-party activities and he had quit the party on May 28.

Panda was elected to Lok Sabha in 2009 and 2014 from Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency. Earlier, he was elected to Rajya Sabha twice from BJD in 2000 and 2006.

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