Indians allegedly stashed Rs16.7 trillion abroad over the past decade, violating forex rules that say any entity making an export should bring the proceeds back into India within a year.
The amount, revealed by Reserve Bank of India data , accounts for roughly 95% of the Rs17 trillion worth of export which never returned to India. Rs1 trillion is equal to Rs1 lakh crore.
HT analyzed the RBI data compiled for a special investigation team (SIT) on black money that gives details of exports made, but money not remitted back to India.
The data give detailed breakup of 188,605 shipping bills with their date of export and money outstanding as of now. The oldest shipping bill dates back to September 4, 1972.
In the past two years, Rs4.54 trillion worth of export remittance is outstanding. However, the eight years from 2005-2013 recorded the maximum amount of money pending abroad — Rs12.16 trillion.
An analysis shows roughly 10% of total exports never return to India. The 44 years of data show the sudden spurt in export proceeds that were not remitted back to India started in 1994. This is roughly three years after India liberalised its economy and exports gathered momentum. The export outstanding jumped from the previous year’s less than Rs300 crore to Rs1,328 crore in 1994.
The second wave of rising export outstanding started in 2000. This coincided with a period when Indian economy was booming. From Rs7,950 crore the previous year, the millennium year crossed the Rs10,000-crore mark.
The outstanding amount crossed the Rs1-trillion threshold during the global depression of 2008. From Rs25,000 crore in 2007, it increased five times to Rs1.3 trillion. The Washington-based Global Financial Integrity report estimated $510 billion black money outflow during 2004-2013. An HT analysis of the same period show $247 billion outflow, the highest in Indian history.