Sunday, January 20, 2013

Black cash amounts to 10% of GDP: Study

Figure Above 10 Lakh Cr, Says Govt Report
New Delhi: A study commissioned by the government last year on quantifying black money generated in the country has estimated that the illicit wealth is likely to exceed 10% of GDP or anywhere above Rs 10 lakh crore, given the size of the economy.

The 1,000-page report was submitted to the finance ministry by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) in the last week of December. The finance ministry is taking a view on it before deciding to table it in Parliament, sources said.

The study was headed by R Kavita Rao, head of NIPFP’s tax policy and research, and included former director general of income tax investigation S S Khan. The report has given sectoral break-up of the scope of black money such as the real estate sector, telecom, mining etc.

The last such study carried out at the instance of the finance ministry was by NIPFP in 1984 when the latter had estimated black money generated in the country to the tune of 19% to 21% of GDP or up to Rs 36,000 crore.

After major ruckus in Parliament and a civil society movement, the government had in March 2011 selected three thinks tanks to estimate the quantum of black money — National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCEAR), NIPFP and National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM). The first report has been submitted by NIPFP while officials in the finance ministry refused to disclose status of other two reports.

The NIPFP had earlier carried out studies in 1976 and 1981 when it had estimated black money generated in the country to be around 15% to 18% of GDP and 18% to 21% of GDP respectively.

In a white paper on black money tabled in Parliament last year, then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had listed tax evasion through transfer pricing as one of the major areas of generation of black money. He had said it was largely invisible to the public and difficult and expensive for tax officers to detect.

The white paper had quoted a private study report saying “developing countries may be losing over $160 billion of tax revenues a year, primarily through transfer pricing strategies”.

The white paper had said, “The illicit money transferred outside India may come back to India through various methods such as hawala, mispricing, foreign direct investment (FDI) through beneficial tax jurisdictions, raising of capital by Indian companies through global depository receipts (GDRs) and investment in Indian stock markets through participatory notes.”
Pradeep Thakur TNN

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