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Whitepaper Back Money 2012

Whitepaper Back Money 2012

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Published by Firstpost

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Published by: Firstpost on May 21, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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MAY 2012
In the past year the public discourse on the issue of corruption and black money has come in theforefront with the active participation of the civil society and our Parliamentary institutions. Two issueshave been highlighted in this debate. First, several estimates have been floated, often without adequatefactual basis on the magnitude of black money generated in the country and the unaccounted wealthstashed aboard. Secondly, a perception has been created that the Government’s response to addressthis issue has been piecemeal and inadequate. This document seeks to dispel some of the views aroundthese two issues and place the various concerns in a perspective.The “White Paper on Black Money” presents the different facets of black money and its complexrelationship with policy and administrative regime in the country. It also reflects upon the policy optionsand strategies that the Government has been pursuing in the context of recent initiatives, or need to takeup in the near future, to address the issue of black money and corruption in public life.There is no doubt that manifestation of black money in social, economic and political space of ourlives has a debilitating effect on the institutions of governance and conduct of public policy in the country.Governance failure and corruption in the system affect the poor disproportionately. The success of aninclusive development strategy critically depends on the capacity of our society to root out the evil ofcorruption and black money from its very foundations. Our endeavour in this regard requires a speedytransition towards a more transparent and result oriented economic management systems in India.The steps taken in recent years for simplifying and placing the administrative procedures concerningtaxation, trade and tariffs and social transfers on UID based electronic interface, free of discretion andbureaucratic delays, are vital building blocks of the approach for tackling corruption and black money inour country. In this past year Government has brought five bills namely, the Lokpal Bill, the JudicialAccountability Bill, the Whistle Blowers Bill, the Grievance Redressal Bill and the Public Procurement Bill,which are at various stages of consideration by the Parliament. The institutionalisation and expansion ofinformation exchange network at the international level is a major step in curbing cross-border flow of illicitwealth and in facilitating its repatriation. While these measures will set the tone for an equitable, transparentand a more efficient economy, there is much that we could do, both individually and collectively, to strengthenthe moral fibre of our society.I would have been happy if I could have included the conclusions of reports of three premierinstitutions that have been tasked to quantify the magnitude of black money. These reports are likely to bereceived by the end of this year. However I have chosen to present this document now in response to anassurance given to the Parliament. Hopefully, it would contribute to an informed debate on the subject anda more effective policy response as we move forward.New Delhi16 May 2012
(Pranab Mukherjee)
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