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

Creation of ‘good bank’ as important as ‘bad bank’ for NPA management

After the recent announcement of the government guarantee for Security Receipts (SRs) to be issued by a public sector-owned National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL), there is a surge of interest around this desi version of a super bad bank. The entity will acquire around ₹2 trillion bad debts fr

V shape recovery an exaggeration: Gurcharan Das

The notion of a V-shape economic recovery is an exaggeration, and the informal economy and the poor have been terribly hurt during the Covid-19 period, says Gurcharan Das, author, commentator and public intellectual. “A V-shape recovery is an exaggeration. The informal economy and the

Covid-19 antibodies found in 86.64% Mumbai citizens

As many as 86.64% citizens of the city of Greater Mumbai have antibodies, according to the fifth sero-prevalence survey. Among the people who are fully or partially vaccinated, the antibodies were found in 90.26%, while among the unvaccinated citizens, 79.86% had antibodies. The Municipal C

`Bad Bank`: All you wanted to know about NARCL

The cabinet has cleared the formation of ‘National Asset Reconstruction Company Limited’ (NARCL) which will acquire “stressed assets” of about Rs. 2 Lakh crore in phases within RBI regulations in order to address the problem of humongous amounts of bad loans in public sector banks.

Citizens Charter: How this less-known law empowers us

When consumer rights and RTI activist Mohammad Afzal was shifting to a new residence in a different area, he required changes in various documents. He decided to take the help of the Citizens Charter along with other friends who also required similar work with authorities. The Citizens Chart

Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways emphasises on setting up of National Transport Facilitation Committees

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal has underlined the importance of cross-border connectivity among India and developing nations of South-East Asia. Addressing the ASEAN summit on Future of India-ASEAN Connectivity Partnerships virt

Visionary Talk: Gurcharan Das, Author, Commentator & Public Intellectual on key governance issues


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter