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FinMin study to assess quantum of black money complete

Last updated on: April 02, 2014 17:00 IST

FinMin study to assess quantum of black money complete

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The much-touted study to assess quantum of black money stashed in India and abroad has been completed by one of the three institutes engaged by the Finance Ministry about three years back.

Replying to an RTI query, the Ministry, however, declined to share a copy of the study saying it would ‘cause a breach of privilege of Parliament’.

Three institutes -- Delhi-based National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and National Council of Applied Economic Research, and National Institute of Financial Management in Faridabad, Haryana -- were roped in by the Finance Ministry to complete their task within 18 months time.

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The image is used for representational purpose only


Image: A customer hands a bundle of Indian Rupee notes to a teller at a financial institution in Mumbai.
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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FinMin study to assess quantum of black money complete

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"Report from one institute has been received and reports from the remaining two institutes are awaited," the Finance Ministry said in reply to the RTI query.

Further details cannot be made available at this point of time as the information is exempted under Section 8 (1) (c) and Section 8 (1) (e) of the RTI Act, 2005.

"The report is yet to be examined by the government and action thereof is yet to be laid before the Parliament," it said.

The Sections bar disclosure of informations which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament and those available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.

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Image: A customer counts currency inside a currency exchange shop in Kolkata.
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

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FinMin study to assess quantum of black money complete

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The study was ordered in March 2011 when the nation was debating on the amount of unaccounted income with figures projected by politicians and civil society in crores of rupees.

"At present, there is no exact estimate of the amount of black money stashed abroad by Indians available with the government of India," the Ministry said.

The different estimates on quantum of black money range between $500 billion to $1,400 billion.

A study by Global Financial Integrity has estimated the illicit money outflow to be $462 billion.

"These estimates are based on various unverifiable assumptions and approximations.

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Image: A cashier counts currency notes at one of Syria's commercial banks in Damascus.
Photographs: Khaled Al Hariri/Reuters

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FinMin study to assess quantum of black money complete

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Government has been seized of the matter and has, therefore, commissioned these institutions to get an estimation and sense of the quantum of illicit fund generated and held within and outside the country," the Finance Ministry had said in a press release issued on May 29, 2011.

"So far there are no reliable estimates of black money generated and held within and outside the country," it had said.

The issue of black money has attracted a lot of public and media attention and is a key election issue.

As per the Terms of Reference of the study, it was to assess or survey unaccounted income and wealth and profile the nature of activities engendering money laundering both inside and outside the country.

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Image: A bank employee counts one hundred dollar notes at a bank in Seoul.
Photographs: Lee Jae Won/Reuters

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FinMin study to assess quantum of black money complete

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The study was to identify important sectors of economy in which unaccounted money is generated and examine causes and conditions that result in generation of unaccounted money.

It was to examine the methods employed in generation of unaccounted money and conversion of the same into accounted money and suggest ways and means for detection and prevention of unaccounted money and bringing the same into the mainstream of economy, according to the Ministry's statement.

The study was also mandated to suggest methods to be employed for bringing to tax unaccounted money kept outside India and to estimate the quantum of non-payment of tax due to evasion by registered corporate bodies.

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Image: Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
Photographs: Courtesy, PIB

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