Govt fails to act on black money:-


Govt fails to act on black money
P Basanth

Liechtenstein is 190 km from Munich off Germany, which is the hub of black money investors. The LGT bank, which is under scanner now, is situated here. Among the details of 1400 accounts collected by the German intelligence agency BND through bank employees, 18 are of Indians. 

On March 18, 2009, the German government transferred details of the accounts to Indian government. But when no action was taken senior Advocate Ram Jethmalani approached the SC. When SC began to intervene, the government showed some move. But still the government is of the stand that it wouldn't publicize the details of persons having accounts there.

The court wanted to know why names of account holders who had looted the country couldn't be published? When media revealed the names that was kept hidden by the government, it included some industrialists from Maharashtra and Gujarat and some trusts, which are re-registered in foreign countries. The investigation agencies have not probed in detail the black money trail but only registered a case of tax fraud which the court questioned.

In the studies conducted by enforcement directorate and finance ministry, it was revealed that in majority of the cases money has been transferred outside as difference in exports and import prices by quoting more or less price. 77.6 % of the total money have been transferred by this. 

The directorate also stated that Rs 15,000 crore has been identified as black money in the search conducted during the last 18 years. The government had levied a fine of Rs 40 crore only from those whose names were given by Germany. But no prosecution proceedings were initiated. The German government gave the names of Manoj Rupliya, Roopla Rupeliya, Mohan Rupeliya, Hasmukh Gandhi, Chinthan Gandhi, Dileep Mehtha, Arun Mehtha, Arun Kochar, Gunvanthi Mehtha, Rajanikath Mehta, Pramod Mehta, Ashok Jaipuraiya and some trusts. Some among them are promoters of Kochi Tusker's team. The investigation officials doubt that some are politicians under benami names. The name of a chairman of South Indian industry also figured in the list. 

LGT bank say that it was the employees of the bank who had stolen information and passed it on to the agencies. Among the 1400, 600 were Germans and the German government had taken stern action against them.

The last study on black money was held during 1983-84 period conducted by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policies as per the direction of Direct Tax Board. At present, the government too has decided to conduct a study on black money trail.

Prof Arun Kumar of JNU university in his book `Black Economy in India' has said that black money during the period 2005-06 is Rs 39 lakh crores. But after that period there was increase in the number of scams and frauds. During 1996-1997, 26 corruption cases have been reported. 

The 2006-2008 period witnessed 150 huge scams. Studies by Global Financial Integrity stated that only 1 per cent has 57 per cent of the share of the total finance of the world. If black money stashed abroad is brought back, India can save itself from foreign debts.