Plug the loopholes and get back black money

Panama Papers leak brings focus again on politically sensitive and economically urgent issue

rahul

Rahul Dass | April 5, 2016 | New Delhi


#Amitabh Bachchan   #Narendra Modi   #NDA   #economy   #black money   #Panama Papers  


Filmstars and business tycoons are among the 500 Indian names that were revealed through the Panama Papers, which are over 11 million leaked documents – bringing into focus black money, a politically sensitive and economically urgent issue that has triggered considerable debate in the recent past.

Celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai as well as business tycoons like DLF founder KP Singh and IndiaBulls promoter Sameer Gehlaut feature in the huge cache of documents from Mossack Fonseca based in Panama, a country whose image is that of a haven for money laundering.

The Indian Express expose has once again shown that unaccounted-for wealth stashed abroad continues to be a bane for the country, despite promises during the heated campaign ahead of the general election that brought the NDA to power in 2014.

The Congress has repeatedly referred to prime minister Narendra Modi’s election campaign speeches in which he had said that black money to the tune of Rs 80 lakh crore was stashed abroad and his government would bring it back in 100 days of coming to power. He had also reportedly hinted that the repatriated money would be enough to deposit Rs15 lakh into the bank account of every Indian.

The NDA government did put in an effort that saw the passage of the black money bill. But that may not be enough to get black money that is hidden away from the prying eyes of tax sleuths.

Those who succeeded in avoiding taxes in India have been able to exploit the loopholes, which needs to be plugged.

The decision taken by the government to form a multi-agency group including the Financial Intelligence Unit, CBDT and RBI is a step in the right direction – with a caveat. It can also be a kneejerk reaction following the damning Panama Papers that have once again shown that all is not well without our financial system.

There are only guesstimates with regard to black money. A study by industry body Assocham says nearly $2 trillion or Rs 120 lakh crore of Indian black money is stashed overseas. That is more than the country's nominal GDP, which stood at Rs 114 lakh crore or $1.9 trillion in 2013-14. The numbers are simply mind-boggling.

Incidentally, as India struggles to bring back black money, Panama itself has not benefitted as the country has the second worst income distribution in Latin America—and about one-fourth of the population lives in poverty.

 

Comments

 

Other News

Election manifestos and voters` Right to Know

Recognising the importance of election manifestos, the supreme court directed the election commission (EC) of India to frame guidelines directly governing the contents of the election manifestos in the case of S. Subramaniam Balaji v. State of Tamil Nadu & Ors. reported in (2013) 9 SCC 659. Although th

No support from govt, says ad veteran Sam Balsara

Advertising veteran Sam Balsara has lamented the lack of support from the government to the industry and said that it has completely ignored the sector. Balsara, the founder, chairman and managing director of Madison World and Madison Communications, said that the government needs to provide

Covid-19: New cases are increasing, but so are recoveries

Even as India continues to record more than 50,000 new Covid-19 infections every day for a week now, there was some hope in the rising number of recoveries as well, with a drop in the case fatality rate and a spike in the recovery rate. Thus, the country recorded the highest single day recov

Breaking new ground in Ayodhya: History is created

History was created as prime minister Narendra Modi participated in the foundation-stone-laying ceremony for the new Ram Temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday, ending centuries of controversy. Modi performed Bhoomi Pujan at `Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir`, in the presence of a very limited number o

How to encourage and support breastfeeding amid pandemic

The most joyous moment of a woman’s life is to breastfeed her baby for the first time. Breast milk is the foundation to build a strong bonding between mother and child and must not be missed by any newborn in its nutrition uptake. The World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging people to “su

Covid testing: India crosses 2 crore milestone

As part of its 3T strategy of focusing on testing, tracing and treating to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, India crossed a landmark, testing 2,02,02,858 COVID-19 samples so far. This is pursuant to the key strategy followed by state/UT governments under the guidance of the centre for managem

Governance Now 5th PSU IT Forum

Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter