The Finance Ministry has sent three study reports on the quantum of black money held by Indians inside the country and abroad to a Parliamentary panel, more than three years after they were submitted to the government, officials said on Monday. The studies, commissioned by the previous UPA regime, were conducted by the Delhi-based National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM), Faridabad.
The NIPFP, NCAER and NIFM reports were received by the government on December 30, 2013, July 18, 2014, and August 21, 2014, respectively. These reports were recently submitted to the Standing Committee on Finance, the officials told reporters. Once cleared by the committee, the reports may be laid in Parliament, they said. There is at present no official assessment on the quantum of black money in India and abroad.
A recent study by US-based think tank Global Financial Integrity (GFI) said an estimated USD 770 billion in black money entered India during 2005-2014. Nearly USD 165 billion in illicit money exited the country during the same period, the latest report by the global financial watchdog said. “The issue of black money has attracted a lot of public and media attention in the recent past. So far, there are no reliable estimates of black money generated and held within and outside the country,” the Finance ministry had said while ordering the studies in 2011. These estimates were based on various unverifiable assumptions and approximations, it had said.
“Government has been seized of the matter and has, therefore, commissioned these institutions to get an estimation and sense of the quantum of illicit fund generated and held within and outside the country,” the ministry had said.
The Terms of Reference (ToR) for the studies included assessment or survey of unaccounted income and wealth and profiling the nature of activities engendering money laundering both within and outside the country. The studies were to identify, among other issues, important sectors of the economy in which unaccounted money was generated and examine the causes and conditions that resulted in the generation.