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How India and Indonesia are chasing tax revenue

Hidden assets sought in pursuit of cash to fund infrastructure development

Indonesia and India have embarked on big, bold and historic hunts for hidden assets. The moves come amid a global shift in attitude toward tax avoidance and offshore holdings but the emerging economies have singular reasons for seeking undeclared riches. Each wants fresh cash for much-needed infrastructure projects and a chance for a fairer distribution of wealth.

JAKARTA/NEW DELHI In the last days of September, in the dark of 3 a.m., people began queuing outside a single government building in central Jakarta. They were clutching financial papers that in some cases exposed offshore accounts worth billions of rupiah. Two months earlier, President Joko Widodo had launched a massive tax amnesty campaign to repatriate hidden assets to Indonesia. As the first reporting deadline loomed, crowds swelled into the office that handles the tax affairs of the country's wealthiest individuals and companies.

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