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Report on ‘Quantum of Black Money’ under examination: Finance Ministry

Reports on quantum of black money stashed in India and abroad are under examination of the government, about a year and a half after submission, the Finance Ministry has said.

The previous UPA government had in March 2011 commissioned studies, by Delhi-based National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM) at Faridabad, on estimation of unaccounted income or wealth both inside and outside the country.

These studies were expected to be completed within 18 months.

Final reports of NIPFP, NCAER and NIFM were received on December 30, 2013, July 18, 2014 and August 21, 2014, respectively, the ministry said.

“The reports are under examination of the government, inter alia, for formulation of the government’s response. The reports along with the government’s response thereon are to be placed before the Standing Committee on Finance as action taken report on their directions and recommendations in this regard,” it said, replying to an RTI query.

Further details cannot be made available at this point of time as the information is exempt under Section 8 (1) (c) of the RTI Act, 2005 which bars disclosure of information which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament, the reply said.

There is at present no official assessment on the quantum of black money in India and abroad.

The issue of black money has been continuously getting attention and Centre has been taking steps to get back illegal money. It had provided one-time window of three months – July 1 to September 30, 2015 – for foreign assets holders to declare such assets by paying a total of 60 per cent tax and penalty and escape stringent provisions under the new black money law.

The government has collected Rs. 16.69 crore as taxes and penalty till November 26 last year from those who have disclosed illegal wealth under the black money compliance window.

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