Narendra Modi`s Cabinet takes first decision, forms SIT to unearth black money

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government`s first Cabinet meet on Tuesday took a crucial decision to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe black money, mostly stashed abroad.

Last Updated: May 28, 2014, 00:38 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government`s first Cabinet meet on Tuesday took a crucial decision to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe black money, mostly stashed abroad.

Addressing a press conference, Law and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "It is a matter of great satisfaction that we have constituted a SIT to bring back black money as per Supreme Court orders."

“SIT will be headed by former Supreme Court judge MV Shah,” he added.

"Director of CBI, RAW, Financial Intelligence will also be a part of the SIT," Prasad said.

Secretary revenue, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India, director of the Intelligence Bureau, director of the Enforcement Directorate, director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes and director of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) will be among the members.

“We are committed to fighting black money," he added.

After Modi`s first cabinet meet Prasad said that the SIT was formed to bring back black money from abroad.

Although there is no official figure, various estimates put the quantum of black money upto $1.4 trillion, IANS reported.

The ruling BJP in a report in 2011, had estimated India’s black economy to be between $500 billion to $1.4 trillion. BJP was the main opposition party at that time.

The US-based think tank Global Financial Integrity has pegged the illicit money outflow from India to the tune of $462 billion.

The black money refers to the money that is earned and transferred illegally abroad in tax havens like Cayman Islands and Mauritius, generally to avoid tax. Nearly a third of black money transactions are believed to be in real estate. Manufacturing and gold and consumer goods purchases are the other major areas of black money transactions.

Modi was sworn-in as PM at a ceremony in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday. Along with Modi, 45 Council of Ministers were also sworn in that included 23 Cabinet members. There are seven women in the ministry, including six in the Cabinet.