Panama Papers leak brings focus again on politically sensitive and economically urgent issue
Rahul Dass | April 5, 2016 | New Delhi
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.
The major reason for high level of pollution in river Yamuna is inadequate flow due to over extraction of surface and ground water and discharge of untreated effluent, union minister Vijay Goel informed the Lok Sabha on Monday. He said the water resources ministry is supplementing the effor
Centrally sponsored schemes will now onwards run for a fixed period of time, thanks to a sunset date. An outcome review will also be carried out. In public policy, a sunset clause means that it shall cease to have effect after a specific date, unless further legislative/a
For the past 25 years, India has been rising in stature. It is continually called an upcoming superpower but has been unable to reach the promised status. India’s importance in the world is more due to its immense population and potential as a market than any objective assessment of development. Indi
Would keeping an army tank at JNU instil nationalism?
Everyone in Yogi Adityanath`s office declares that Yogi’s political career is founded on the work carried out from there, first when he was mahant of the influential temple, and then as an MP. Vijendra Singh, who works at the office, says “It’s because of these letters that Yogiji has n
Banks have advanced a staggering Rs 29,46,060 crore to the industrial sector, of which Rs 6.93 lakh crore are non-performing assets (NPAs). Finance minister Arun Jaitley informed