It is said that even the criminals follow some principles while doing business. Hawala, where huge monetary transactions take place without actually moving the cash, also work on the similar principles. The system works through a network of operators called Hawaldars or Hawala Dealers, who are the most trustworthy people betraying the nation. In India, business thrives mainly on trust, and the same trust has become a breeding ground for the illegal and parallel remittance system too. What has made this ‘trust’ business a threat to nation is the growing clandestine support of our political leaders to this growing business. And as this partnership continues to flourish in the name of the trust, the credibility of democratic institutions is taking a back seat.
While the country is still coping with the disclosures of the remote controlled government being influenced by the extra-constitutional powers, the expose of dreaded links of Delhi power centres with the Hawala operator and meat exporter Moin Qureshi is a worrying development. In a 60 days long raid of the IT department, over Rs 6 crores in cash and 20 lockers in the name of Qureshi's employees, were seized till Tuesday. The troubling part apart from scam is Qureshi’s alleged links with cabinet ministers and a political leader allegedly very close to 10 Janpath. Add to it, a former CBI director rented out his house to Moin Qureshi for office space has also come into light. And many big corporate houses linked to 2G scam are also being suspected of their links with this racket.
It is estimated that between $100 and $300 billion flow through informal remittance systems across the globe every year. In India, Interpol estimates that the size of Hawala is possibly 40% of the country’s GDP. Even the official government white paper admits the share of black money to be upto 30%. Gold imports which accounts for 70% of the illegal transactions, have become more lucrative with increasing demand for gold and ‘Hawala’ premiums for smuggling gold have also shot up to four per cent from earlier 2.5 per cent.
Hawala is not only about illegal transactions of currency and gold. Terrorist groups need money to motivate people to join their activities, to procure materials like arms and ammunition and to keep their network going, and therefore, Pakistan is regarded as the biggest centre of the Hawala, drug and weapons market, and is posing imminent threat to India’s security and health.
All the key issues in the ongoing elections- price rise, inflation, corruption, stability and security, are tacitly or explicitly linked to the business of black money. Unfortunately, the policy
paralytic government, headed by the economist Prime Minister, has not only remained a silent spectator to this dirty business but, the recent exposes indicate that fact it was facilitating some vested interests.
The extra-constitutional power centre of the country is already under scanner for undermining the PMO. As people associated with the same power centre have alleged links with the Hawala networks, the trust deficit build by the existing government is definitely widening. If the upcoming government really intends to bridge this trust gap, it has to trail and trap all the culprits instrumental in playing with the well being and security of the nation.