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No need for more committees, studies on black money: Experts

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 - 16:18

New Delhi: Delays in action against black
money by way of committees and studies will give time to
corrupt politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats to divert
their ill-gotten funds into shell companies, an eminent JNU
professor has said.

"More studies or committees or new special investigating
wing and treaties with foreign governments are only to stall
action," said Arun Kumar, the head of the Centre for Economic
Studies and Planning in Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Kumar, who has authored `The Black Economy in India`,
said the government`s move to institute studies and form
committees on black money "will only give time to triad --
politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats -- to invest their
funds in shell companies abroad."

He gave the example of a politician from Jharkhand who is
alleged to have invested unaccounted funds in African mines.

Similar views were expressed by National Institute of
Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) professor Ila Patnaik, who
said that agencies like the Directorate of Criminal
Investigation (DCI) were not needed to check tax-related

"I don`t think we require any new special investigation
agency like the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to
deal with tax-related crimes...," she said.

Under pressure from various quarters, the government had
recently set up the DCI to deal with tax-related crimes and
initiate prosecution proceedings against tax defaulters.

According to Kumar, the government can act on the leads
provided by investigating agencies that tape telephone
conversations of suspected persons.
"Investigating agencies provide the leadership with
information through tapping lakhs of phones every year," he
said, adding that the government can use the information to
book culprits.

The share of the black economy has increased from the
Wanchoo Committee`s estimate of 7 per cent in the early 1970s
to 21 per cent according to the Shankar Archarya Committee to
almost 50 per cent according to the latest Global Integrity
Report, said Kumar, who conducted an independent study in 1999
detailing the various aspects of the `black economy`.

"In the last 60 years, dozens of committee have studied
various aspect of black money and given thousands of
suggestions. Hundreds of these suggestions have been
implemented, but the size of the black economy has grown
substantially," he said.

Besides setting up the DCI, the government has also
commissioned a study to estimate the extent of black money
within and outside the country. The study will be jointly
conducted by the NIPFP, National Institute of Financial
Management and National Council for Applied Economic Research.


First Published: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 - 16:18
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