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Issue of black money

23 Oct. 2014 11:11 PM IST

For years on end, politicians have been raising hue and cry over the issue of black money or untaxed and unaccounted money as bribe or commissions, stashed away by Indians in foreign banks. Politicians from various parties have been demanding that all that money, estimated at around Rs.30 lakh crore should be brought back to India and those who had violated tax and other rules be booked. Those holding so-called black money include politicians, business persons and corporate honchos. No doubt the issue of black money is important those account holders have to prove that the money is for and from legitimate business and not from commissions or bribes. Most importantly, black money is said to be untaxed and therefore constitutes a serious economic offence. The issue of black money has been used as a favourite weapon by political rivals. Despite promises to reveal the names of those tax evaders and also bring back the money to the country, nothing really moved much. India is the world`s most corrupt country where corruption has become a major factor of the government. Recently due to international pressure, Swiss government agreed to disclose the names of the account holders only if the respective government formally asked for it. India has more money in Swiss bank than all the other countries combined. It is reported that Russia has four than India in Swiss banks. Interestingly, the US does not even figure among the top five countries having their money in Swiss banks. The black money belongs to dishonest persons, scandalous politicians and corrupt IAS, IPS officers who have deposited their ill gotten money in foreign personal accounts . It is also reported that a whopping sum of around $ 1500 billion, which the amount of misappropriated money, is kept in Swiss banks. According to reports appearing in the media, the among of black money stashed in foreign banks is said to be 13 times larger than India’s foreign debt. With this amount 45 crore poor people can get Rs 1,00,000 each. Black money has been siphoned off from the people through corruption ,exploitation and betrayal. While India conveniently grapples with taking an important first step, countries like the USA have settled their Swiss bank accounts where billionaires have had to pay at least 50% of the money as tax. Big names of American business like Gates and Bloomberg had to do that. In the same way, Italy got back 6.4 billion dollars from Swiss Bank while Germany got 5.7 billion and France got 1.7 billion dollars. Much of the money in Swiss banks and other tax havens in places like the Bahamas etc were routed into the Indian stock exchanges Participatory Note (PN) bought in Mauritius through front companies. The UPA government then and now the NDA, had vowed to get back the money and prosecute the offenders but the pace has not been promising. It may be recalled that on March 16 ,2014 The Supreme Court slammed the Centre for failing to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks for over six decades. Political parties continue to indulge in finger pointing but appear hesitant to act and that, perhaps is an indication that everybody is as guilty as the other. 

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