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ICAI to suggest ways to deal with black money

July 08, 2011 13:17 IST
As the heat turns on the government on the issue of black money, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on Thursday said it would suggest to the finance ministry ways to track and control illicit money.

A committee, consisting of nine members of ICAI's central council and headed by its president, G Ramaswamy, met on Thursday to discuss the matter.

"The committee has been constituted to identify areas where black money generation is going on, identify how to reduce it and suggest amendments to the existing laws, wherever required," Ramaswamy said.

He said ICAI had also been asked to see if black money stock could be treated as a national asset and what stringent measures could be put in place to curb this illegal activity.

"After we have a broad framework, we will invite comments from experts. The final phase will be to get feedback from all our members. We hope to complete it by July 31," Ramaswamy said.

The committee will give its recommendations to a panel set up by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) under the finance ministry. The CBDT panel is looking into the issue of curbing black money, including any legislative changes required.

The panel includes its own experts and representatives from the enforcement directorate, directorate of revenue intelligence, currency unit and financial intelligence.

The final report, to be given to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, is expected to be ready by December.

Snubbing the government earlier this week, the Supreme Court had appointed a special investigation team, comprising two of its retired judges, to track black money stashed in foreign banks.

There are no reliable estimates of black money generated by Indians within and outside the country.

However, a report by the US-based Global Financial Integrity says at least $550 billion (Rs 22.5 lakh crore) of illicit money has gone out of India since Independence.

The finance ministry has entrusted the task of estimating black money, both in India and outside, to three think tanks - National Council of Applied Economic Research, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, and National Institute of Financial Management.
Joe C Mathew in New Delhi
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