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7/6/2014

Swiss accounts are a diversion. Bulk of black money is right here in India - The Times of India

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Swiss accounts are a diversion. Bulk of black


money is right here in India

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Arun Kum ar | UBS | Taxation | Tackle The Black Econom y | Savings

The scent of 'black money' is in the air again. At


the Supreme Court's order, Modi sarkar has set up
a Special Investigation Team to look into cases of
illegal outflow of money to foreign havens.
Astronomical figures of treasure hoards hidden
abroad have been bandied around, especially in
the recent elections. To understand what black
money is and how it can be recovered, Subodh
Varma spoke to India's pre-eminent expert on the
black economy, Prof Arun Kumar of Jawaharlal
Nehru University, Delhi.

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How do you define 'black money'?


Actually , 'black money' is a tiny component of the huge 'black
economy'. All unreported incomes whether by legal or illegal means,
and their subsequent use in consumption or investment forms the
'black economy'. The part of this economy which is available as
'money' is called black money . Often black money is taken to mean
money generated through illegal activities like bribery. That's just one
part of black money. If a private tutor or a doctor earns some income,
that's not illegal. But when it is not included in his income returns it
becomes `black'. At the societal level, this is a system, it's
institutionalized. A sugar mill owner will under weigh the sugar cane,
the juice and the crystalline sugar, and also bribe excise officials to
report less production. So he gets extra unreported income at every
stage of production and distribution.

What is the measure of this 'black economy' in India and how much of it is stashed
away in foreign tax havens?
My estimate is that more than 50% of India's economy is black. About half of this is consumption
while the remaining half is savings.
Of these savings, about 20% is taken out of the country . That means, of the total black economy ,
about 10% is in foreign banks. Some is consumed there (yachts, houses, vacations) and some is
routed back to India through various means including hawala, or through the Mauritius route. If
all the money that has been illegally taken out were to be invested back in India, the gain would
be equivalent to $2 trillion (about Rs 120 lakh crore). This is not the amount of money stashed
abroad it is the opportunity cost of that.

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How can the foreign-based black money be retrieved?


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/interviews/Swiss-accounts-are-a-diversion-Bulk-of-black-money-is-right-here-in-India/articleshow/37879250 1/8

7/6/2014

Swiss accounts are a diversion. Bulk of black money is right here in India - The Times of India

First of all, I think going after just the foreign component of black money is a diversion. The bulk
of the money is right here in the country! It is very difficult to get money out of foreign tax
havens unless someone has been really stupid. Let me clarify that all Indians with foreign
accounts are not criminals. If it is untaxed, unreported income then it needs to be tracked and
brought to book. No amount of agreements to avoid double taxation or infor mation sharing will
yield information on real account holders. There are devious means by which money is
transferred through several layers of shell companies. If you ask a Swiss bank, they might tell you
the 'names' they have but these are not the real people. It will require a great deal of meticulous
work here to get the right persons. This is what the US did in the case of its citizens who had
stashed money in UBS. They prepared a case in US and presented it to the Swiss. That's what
India should do.

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Times of India.

The only other way is to wait for somebody to steal the data as happened in the case of LGT the
Lichtenstein based trust.
The present government seems to be very active in pursuing black money. Will this
yield results?
Since 1948, about 40 committees, commissions, etc have looked at the problem from different
angles. There have been raids, there have been amnesty schemes. The result is zero. My feeling is
that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the government under Supreme Court
pressure will be of limited use.
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It is going to look at existing cases and go by what is offered to it - nothing more. The problem is
that there is a triad of vested interests that runs everything in the country -business, politicians
and the executive arm of the government. The Radia tapes have shown a glimpse of this nexus.
This triad is the main beneficiary of the black economy . So, there has never been a political will to
tackle the black economy in the past, and I doubt that the present government has it. Otherwise,
Modi can order a crackdown on all hawala operators and all other routes of illegal money flows.
Only pressure from people's movements will force the government to crack down on the black
economy .
Would the black economy cool down if taxes were lowered?

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This is like saying that if the red light was not there you would not be charged with jumping it!
Remember, India has one of the lowest direct tax to GDP ratios in the whole world.
Chidambaram used to say that our tax-GDP ratio has improved. But that's because of the
enormous increase in corporate profits. Calculations show that just the top 0.1% of the population
earns more than the bottom 55%. This is because of deregulation and concessions in taxes. Y et the
black economy is flourishing.

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chhandas naikw ade (nagpur,INDIA)
20 mins ago

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Great piece of knowledge..often it happens about many topics which are very
important to be known to us in right detail,and we know just the shell of
nut.....

Shajahan (Salem)
3 Follow ers
31 mins ago

Silver: 1.3K

There is so much of talk about black money in swiss accounts. Do you think
that, those who possess large amount of black money still continue to keep it
in Swiss accounts. They must have thought of some innovative idea and the
money would have been transferred to some the country.

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7/6/2014

Swiss accounts are a diversion. Bulk of black money is right here in India - The Times of India
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money would have been transferred to some the country.

ratan (bbsr)
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1 hr ago

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This is just grate , Modi will be of no use , its just a matter of time , unless
we get out on streets and protest for it to ban all the illegal money transfer
route .

Gandhi ()
4 Follow ers
1 hr ago

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It does not require a professor of Economics to inform us that nothing tangible


will come back to India as a result of this operation against black money. The
moment some one thought of taking tough measures to bring back all the
black money stashed abroad in these tax havens, would have been silently
withdrawn and stashed elsewhere , another safer haven. When the names are
revealed most of these names will not be those of the real hoarders, but
somebody else, a front or a mask for the real culprit. As suggested by the
expert the present Government will have to initiate harsh, legal action against
all hawala transactions. The entire property of these intermediaries will have
to be impounded; they must be asked to reveal the names of real
beneficiaries of such illegal transactions. It will be long , tedious and
cumbersome. Best wishes for those who sincerely try to unearth the black
money.

Shah Shahi (Dammam)


14 Follow ers
1 hr ago

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Best way to stop black economy is to stop FDI from Tax Haven countries
(Mauritius, Malta, Luxembourg)

Superm an CID (Unknow n)


281 Follow ers
2 hrs ago

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All of us must understand that those officials one who is saying BLACK
MONEY is actually what ? PROFIT FOR A MAN ONE WHO WORK WITH
HIS EXTRA ORDINARY SKILL THAN HE IS OFFICIALLY ESTIMATED.. In
this decade money which made inside India can't be compared with NRI
income. See, there is no tax to send money to India for NRIs but the same
way income of Indians have taxable money . So in this age either NRI should
get equal status of the non NRIs in India. Or it will be an one way status .

Com m unal Aw ard (Unknow n)


216 Follow ers
2 hrs ago

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Platinum : 24.8K

Google "90% of corrupt money is with forward caste". * Vodafone tax Scandal
= $1.9 billion (forward caste) * Saradha Group financial scandal = $4
billion(forward caste) * IGI Airport scam = $32 billion(forward caste) * Coal
Mining Scam = $213 billion(forward caste) * Granite scam in Tamil Nadu
$2.8 billion(forward caste) * Maharashtra Irrigation Scam $12 billion(forward
caste) * Kinetic Finance Limited Scam $34 million(forward caste) * Ultra
Mega Power Projects Scam $5 million(forward caste) * Karnataka Wakf
Board Land Scam = $39 billion(forward caste) * Andhra Pradesh land scam =
$20 billion(forward caste) * Central Excise Duty fraud = $3.82 billion(forward
caste) * Gujarat PSU financial irregularities = $3.39 billion(forward caste) *
Maharashtra stamp duty scam = $126 million(forward caste) * Highway scam
= $13.97 million(forward caste) * Ministry of External Affairs gift scam =
$100,000(forward caste) * Himachal Pradesh pulse scam =
$200,000/month(forward caste) * Flying Club fraud = $38 million(forward
caste) * Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association scam = $10 million (MC) *
Punjab paddy scam = $3.59 million(forward caste) * Arvind Joshi and Tinu
Joshi = $50 million(forward caste) * Uttar Pradesh seed scam = $9.98
million(forward caste) * Obsolete French Fighter Jets = $11 billion(forward
caste) * NHRM = $2 billion(BC) * Goa mining scam = $700 million(forward
caste) * Noida Corporation farm land scandal = $40 million(SC) * Bellary
mines scandal = $3.2 billion(forward caste) * BL Kashyap EPFO Scam =
$118 million(forward caste) * Hasan Ali Khan = $8 billion(MC) * ISRO-Devas =
$300 million(forward caste) * Cash-for-votes = $715,000(forward caste) * 2G
spectrum(FC/BC/SC/ST/MC) = $6.9 billion * Adarsh Housing Society(forward
caste) * Commonwealth Games = $15.5 billion(forward caste) * LIC Housing
Loan scam = $200 million(forward caste) * Belekeri port = $12 billion(forward
caste) * Lavasa = $80 million(forward caste) * Uttar Pradesh Food Grain =
$44 billion(BC) * APIIIC = $2 billion(forward caste) * IPL Cricket = $8
billion(forward caste) * Madhu Koda = $800 million(SC) * UIDAI = $1
billion(forward caste) * Vasundhara Raje land scam = $4.4 billion(forward
caste) * Satyam = $1 billion(forward caste) * Scorpene Deal = $10

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7/6/2014

Swiss accounts are a diversion. Bulk of black money is right here in India - The Times of India

caste) * Satyam = $1 billion(forward caste) * Scorpene Deal = $10


million(forward caste) * Oil-for-food programme (Natwar Singh) = $10
billion(forward caste) * Gegong Apang PDS = $200 million(ST) * Taj corridor =
$44 million(SC) * Ketan Parekh = $200 million(forward caste) * Barak Missile
= $200 million(forward caste) * Calcutta Stock Exchange = $2 million(forward
caste) * Cobbler scam = $214 million(forward caste) * Sukh Ram = $5
million(forward caste) * SNC Lavalin = $10 million(forward caste) * Advani
Hawala = $18 million(forward caste) * Bihar fodder = $211 million(BC) *
Bhansali = $200 million(forward caste) * Pickle bribes = $20,000(forward
caste) * Telgi scam = $4.46 billion(MC)

Vorpal (New Delhi)


7 Follow ers
2 hrs ago

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During the Emergency, I was fighting a "service" matter case in the Court.
During a casual conversation, my advocate, a very senior and highly
respected man, told e there was an Income Tax raid on one of his colleagues.
The colleague and his family threw out suitcases containing Rs.70 lakhs into
a back lane to avoid detection. They were prepared to lose that much
(remember, it was the year 1975, and you can estimate today's equivalent)
because it was only a fraction of the black money he had -- just ready cash.
This anecdote will give you an idea of the size of black money. Also, my
experience was that the lawyers would not normally give any receipts for the
fees they received, and they usually insisted on cash.

Madhurim a Das (Detroit, Michigan)


2 Follow ers
2 hrs ago

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Very interesting article. It explains why no politician wants to do anything in


this regard.

Vorpal (New Delhi)


7 Follow ers
2 hrs ago

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piyushlpn (Bhubanesw ar)

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We need independent body like Supreme court to investigate with full power
and control without involvement of politicians and business man and take
action public to give the clear message that should prevent people from
involving in any activities of generating black money.I don't see currently what
been done and also in past would anyway yield any result and these are just
some kind of joke in our system with zero results all the times.

R.Singh (NCR)
16 Follow ers
4 hrs ago

Silver: 3.0K

If you are mystified by the sentence, "This is not the amount of money
stashed abroad -- it is the opportunity cost of that", here is my conjecture of
what happened. "opportunity" is a misprint for "approximate".

3 hrs ago

Silver: 1.1K

Professor Kumar is an expert on black economy. He is admired by one and


all, but who listen to him? Does anybody care for what he is advising on black
money? He has rightly said that Swiss accounts are a diversion. Bulk of
black money is right here in India. He is also right in his assertion that you
can't bring even those money back unless you do something like US. He has
forgotten or maybe that he can't tell that no government is serious in doing
rigorous exercise in unearthing black money as it has become part of black
economy which is much bigger menace and almost all have stake in it..When
on order from SC, SIT was constituted on black money, On may 31,I had
written on PM's web site , "Sir, Now SIT on black money is there, which is a
commendable step and was long overdue, but what I understand, it is for
black money stacked abroad. If it is so, it is only a half hearted approach and
can be considered just a token step in unearthing black money and curbing
this menace. In my opinion black money stacked abroad is just a fraction of
black money, which has become integral part of our economy and no party or
individual is interested in curbing this menace, because most of the people,
inadvertently or advertently are part of it. Politicians and political parties are
the biggest beneficiaries of it. But if you are really interested in curbing or
eliminating this menace .you will have to rise above politics and make SITs
scope inclusive, covering total gambit of black money, its source of
generation ,place of concealment etc. taken together" I had been crying
hoarse through this column and other forums about this since long, but when
an expert like Prof Kumar is not listened to, who will listen to me? Out of
disgust, in one of my letters to editor I had written,"I have got solution for all
economic woos of India .If proved wrong, hang me in public. This was also

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7/6/2014

Swiss accounts are a diversion. Bulk of black money is right here in India - The Times of India

economic woos of India .If proved wrong, hang me in public. This was also
perhaps taken as insane voice of a lunatic. On May 18, 2011,there was a
National Seminar on Black Money at India Habitat Center New Delhi i I had a
chance to be present there. I had raised this issue there also, but trouble with
such seminars in India is that these seminars start with lectures and end with
that. There is no follow up action afterwards. Pro.f.Kumar in his brief interview
has failed to address the biggest source of generation of black money,. bribe
and kick back

Ram ash Singh (Delhi, India)


16 Follow ers
4 hrs ago

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Professor Arun Kumar is an expert on black economy. He is admired by one


and all, but who listen to him? Does anybody care for what he is advising on
black money? He has rightly said that Swiss accounts are a diversion. Bulk
of black money is right here in India. He is also right in his assertion that you
can't bring even those money back unless you do something like US. He has
forgotten or maybe that he can't tell that no government is serious in doing
rigorous exercise in unearthing black money as it has become part of black
economy which is much bigger menace and almost all have stake in it..When
on order from SC, SIT was constituted on black money, On may 31,I had
written on PM's web site , "Sir, Now SIT on black money is there, which is a
commendable step and was long overdue, but what I understand, it is for
black money stacked abroad. If it is so, it is only a half hearted approach and
can be considered just a token step in unearthing black money and curbing
this menace. In my opinion black money stacked abroad is just a fraction of
black money, which has become integral part of our economy and no party or
individual is interested in curbing this menace, because most of the people,
inadvertently or advertently are part of it. Politicians and political parties are
the biggest beneficiaries of it. But if you are really interested in curbing or
eliminating this menace .you will have to rise above politics and make SITs
scope inclusive, covering total gambit of black money, its source of
generation ,place of concealment etc. taken together" I had been crying
hoarse through this column and other forums about this since long, but when
an expert like Prof Kumar is not listened to, who will listen to me? Out of
disgust, in one of my letters to editor I had written,"I have got solution for all
economic woos of India .If proved wrong, hang me in public. This was also
perhaps taken as insane voice of a lunatic. On May 18, 2011,there was a
National Seminar on Black Money at India Habitat Center New Delhi i I had a
chance to be present there. I had raised this issue there also, but trouble with
such seminars in India is that these seminars start with lectures and end with
that. There is no follow up action afterwards. Pro.f.Kumar in his brief interview
has failed to address the biggest source of generation of black money,. bribe
and kick back

m vsridhara (Unknow n)
23 Follow ers
4 hrs ago

Gold: 15.8K
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Black money and black economy are issues that politicians are using against
one another's alleged adversaries. Black money is untaxed and unaccounted
income; and it is not necessarily big income and taxable income. And black
money has all along contributed to a wrong assessment of national product
and of whether so and so is poor or rich or non-poor or non-rich. Take the
case of a watchman in charge of a construction site; and several tools are
dumped under his watch and some times he may lend them for others, let us
say a ladder or a painting stool. He may charge some fee for it and the user
of this tool may find it far cheaper to pay a fee rather than hire a transport
vehicle to ferry this article, ladder or a stool. This watchman earns some
unrecognised income and it is unrecorded and it is black. Many doctors,
tuition teachers, accountants etc., earn unaccounted incomes and are all
considerably black because the earner does not declare that income. From
the point of view of the government the individual is earning Rs 500,000; but
his actual income is 8-10 lakhs. Thus taxes are not duly collected and the
country/government suffers from paucity of resources. A construction worker
or an electricity employee cuts tree branches and roots and carries the
proceeds as fuel for himself and this is his income, a piece of non-monetary
income and is not counted as his income; or, an underreporting of personal
income though not a piece of taxable income. Thus black money is being
earned and spent in various ways and the government is finding it hard all
along to duly tax various even high incomes. Generally spending of black
incomes does not result in collection of taxes and government is thus
proportionately disabled from spending on development or infrastructure; and
country remains less productive as a result. Though difficult, black money
needs to be unearthed; as has been remarked here efforts made inside the
country to seek out these black money hoards it will benefit the country
surely and proportionately. In sum, more people operate black money than
are generally believed; many of our neighbours and many of us may be
indulging in black money. And are quite thick skinned about it. Paying due
taxes may be the most patriotic deed. Jai Hind!

Abhay Kum ar Pradhan (Lucknow , India)


26 Follow ers
5 hrs ago

Gold: 12.0K

If you ask a Swiss bank, they might tell you the 'names' they have but these

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7/6/2014

Swiss accounts are a diversion. Bulk of black money is right here in India - The Times of India
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If you ask a Swiss bank, they might tell you the 'names' they have but these
are not the real people. It will require a great deal of meticulous work here to
get the right persons. This is what the US did in the case of its citizens who
had stashed money in UBS. They prepared a case in US and presented it to
the Swiss. That's what India should do.

cpnihal (Location) replies to Abhay Kum ar Pradhan


34 mins ago

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Why did you just copy paste from the article above ??

KIM ()
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Great Article !!

Kevin (Location)
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Thanks for sharing the above descriptive infornation on BLACK MONEY.

ssundararam an20 (mumbai)


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Pure white opinion on Black Money.. Mostly it might be in the form of assets,
properties, dummy companies, invested in green pastures.... within India &
abroad... How many Income-tax or other raids were conducted on the obvious
suspects of very high powerful clan... or their coteries... or near & dear
ones... Who will bell the cat, the cat itself.. ?? GOK

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http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/interviews/Swiss-accounts-are-a-diversion-Bulk-of-black-money-is-right-here-in-India/articleshow/37879250 7/8

7/6/2014

Swiss accounts are a diversion. Bulk of black money is right here in India - The Times of India
Copyright 2014 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/interviews/Swiss-accounts-are-a-diversion-Bulk-of-black-money-is-right-here-in-India/articleshow/37879250 8/8