The former Congress president was referring to reports that as many as 66 Indians got the “golden passport” in Cyprus, including Adani’s elder brother Vinod Adani.
“Why did the brother of the ‘param mitra’ leave India during ‘Amrit Kaal’? ‘Golden passport’ means a golden opportunity for theft — steal public money, form a shell company and spend abroad,” Rahul said in a post in Hindi on X.
The “golden passport” scheme, also called the “Cyprus Investment Programme”, was introduced in 2007
It facilitated the grant of Cypriot citizenship to financially prominent individuals, thereby bringing in foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country.
The BJP hit back at Rahul’s remarks, saying it was under the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government that the India-Cyprus tax treaty created a haven for tax evaders.
“You practically rolled out the red carpet for investors to bypass Capital Gains tax, with Cyprus not imposing such taxes either. Add to that the low withholding tax rate, and you have got yourself a perfect recipe for creating a tax haven, luring businesses and individuals to funnel money into Cyprus.
“But when the BJP led NDA came into power, we saw through this charade and took immediate, decisive action. In 2016, we didn’t just tweak the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Cyprus; we overhauled it. Our revision, effective retrospectively from, Nov 2013, was a game-changer. It shifted the taxation of capital gains right back to where the income is made — the source country — rather than letting investors hide behind the veil of their country of residence. This wasn’t just a policy shift; it was a direct challenge to the tax avoidance circus you had running,” BJP IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya said on X.