DELIVERING a talk on ‘Black Money and Indian economy’ at Bharatya Vichara Kendram, Thiruvananthapuram on August 31, Prof R Vaidyanathan, of IIM Bengaluru and an international expert on corporate finance, investments, portfolio management and risk management etc., said the PMO is soft-pedalling return of ill- gotten money parked in tax- havens. He called for creation of a Ministry of Foreign Funds and issue of Resurgent India Bonds, similar to the one, done by BJP regime, to bring back tax-evaded and unaccounted money, legally.
Quoteing RTI act disclosures, he said 76 UPA-I Ministers were abroad for 3,800 days and most of them visited, tax havens in Swiss/Germany via Italy to deposit money. Renuka Chaudary was touring in the Italy-Germany-Swiss route for 110 days and Ambika Soni was another frequent traveller.
The economic crisis in the West/US made them search for ill gotten money stashed in tax havens. Germany and the US were the front runners who got data from Liechtenstein and several tax havens based in Island nations. Australia and England followed. US has started investigations on 52,000 citizens who have funds in tax havens. Germany has a list of 1,200 of which many are Indians. Although it was an electoral issue in 2009, it is in cold storage now. As per study of ‘Global Financial Integrity’ an International organisation, the Indian money outside is to the order of 7.5 trillion USD with funds in Swiss amounting to 2.2 trillion USD. The study also says 135 bullion USD have been put in last five years. Swiss banks are India friendly since 1/3rd of Swiss deposits are ours. Our GDP is 1.4 trillion USD and growing at 8 per cent but India is the largest parker of funds in tax havens.
“The black money consists of vegetarian (non-taxed funds and bribery in Government contracts) and non-vegetarian, (used for terror, manipulation in stock markets and counterfeiting) with the later used to destabilise India. Recently Hassan Ali, a horse breeder in Pune was assessed for Rs 78,000 crore. He was a front for several tax evaders. Also counterfeit notes of Rs 150 crore were got from a person,” he said.
“Rs. 7.6 lakh crore, out of the total working capital in the retail market, of Rs 9.6 lakh crore is coming from black money. This is not good in the long run as in 10 years, India will join US and China to be among the top three economic powers. We have to discipline ourselves. We are generating 1.2 trillion USD of black money, every year, which is not a healthy sign,” he emphasised.
Concluding his speech, he said there is nothing to panic as India has the largest stock of 70,000 tonnes of gold. Thanks to our saving habit and strong family ties. But there is need to being back our money, for quicker progress of the nation.
Presiding over the meeting, Director Padmasri P Parameswaran said wealth has great importance in Hindu culture. “It is a part of the cycle of dharma, artha, kama and moksha. Aurobindo says wealth is as divine as knowledge, when it is earned honestly and spent for right cause. Lakshmi is as important as Durga and Saraswati. The Gita speaks of deivik and asuric sampada. Ill- gotten wealth is a bondage which leads you to the doors of hell. We are in a situation where governments are willing accompanies in people making black money and stashing it in tax havens. Travancore, Kerala which was once Dharma Rajya State has now become Madya Rajya State (liquor country),” he concluded.