Government to quantify black money

Last Updated: Sunday, May 29, 2011 - 15:15

New Delhi: Amid mounting pressure to unearth
black money, the government announced it has
commissioned an in-depth study to quantify unaccounted income
and wealth stashed within and outside the country in 16
months.



The study has been undertaken by the country`s three top
level institutions, which would also profile the activities
used for money-laundering and identify the causes of black
money and the sectors in which it is generated.

"So far, there are no reliable estimates of black money
generated and held within and outside the country," the
Finance Ministry, which commissioned the study, said.



The study will also suggest ways to detect and prevent
unaccounted money, bringing it into the tax net.

Work on the study, which commenced in March, is being
undertaken by the National Council for Applied Economic
Research (NCEAR), National Institute of Public Finance and
Policy (NIPFP) and National Institute of Financial Management
(NIFM).



The first study on unaccounted money was conducted by
NIPFP way back in 1985.



The ministry said that the estimates, which are not
reliable, vary from USD 462 billion to USD 1.4 trillion.



Even as a joint panel of ministers and social activists,
including Anna Hazare is working on the draft Lokpal Bill,
yoga guru Ramdev has threatened to go on hunger strike here
from June 4 on the issue of black money.



The government has also constituted a committee of high-
level officials, including the chief of the Central Board of
Direct Taxes (CBDT), to suggest a legal framework for
confiscating such wealth by declaring it as "national assets".



Last week, senior officials of CBDT met Ramdev in Haridwar
to explain measures taken to bring back black money back in the
country.



The Government had earlier also constituted a committee,
comprising heads of various probe agencies and specialised
departments, to monitor the investigation and initiate steps
to bring back black money stashed in tax havens.



Besides, the Government is also amending the existing
Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) with different
countries and entering into Tax Information Exchange
Agreements (TIEA) with tax havens.



Earlier, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said that
the Government has adopted a five pronged strategy, including
legislative reforms, to deal with the menace of black money.



PTI



First Published: Sunday, May 29, 2011 - 15:15

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