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How much black money do Indians have abroad?

business Updated: Oct 27, 2014 16:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
black money


The central government has disclosed to the Supreme Court the names of three business people who have allegedly stashed black money abroad. Former Dabur executive Pradip Burman, Rajkot-based bullion trader Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhia and Goa miner Radha S Timblo were named by the Centre--a legal development that will turn the national focus on black money and funds allegedly stashed in tax havens aboard. Here's an explanation of the issue.

Size of India's black economy

· There are no official estimates of India's black economy. In 2011 the government had commissioned a joint study by three think-tanks - NIPFP, NIFM and NCAER - to estimate Indian entities' unaccounted wealth both at home and abroad. The final report has not been submitted.

·India ranked fifth largest exporter of illicit money between 2002-2011, with a total of $343.04 billion, and in 2011 it was placed third when $84.93 billion was sent abroad, according to a 2013 report titled 'Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2002-2011'.

Read: Over 1 lakh crore undisclosed income, globally 5th in illicit outflows

Other estimates

$462 billion (about Rs28.6 lakh crore): According to Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington-based think-tank, Indians salted away $462 billion (about Rs 28 lakh crore in current exchange rates) in overseas tax havens between 1948-2008.

$500 billion (about Rs 31.4 lakh crore): Money stashed away in tax havens by Indians, according to former CBI director AP Singh

$500 billion ( Rs 31.4 lakh crore) and $1.4 trillion ( Rs 86.8 lakh crore): Parked in undisclosed overseas accounts, according to a BJP task force report of 2011

Rs 14,000 crore: Money held by Indians in Swiss banks as of December 2013, a jump of over 42% from 2012

Key dates in black money case

2009: Germany hands over list of Indian account holders in LGT Bank, Liechtenstein, a European principality

· Senior Lawyer Ram Jethmalani files PIL in SC seeking a direction to the government for taking action to bring back money stashed in foreign banks

2011: France hands over list of 782 Indian citizens who allegedly hold HSBC accounts in Geneva

May 27, 2014: New NDA government sets up a high-powered Special Investigative team (SIT) headed by retired Supreme Court (SC) judge MB Shah to look into the issue of black money and slush funds.

October 16, 2014: Government tells SC disclosing the names of those who have deposited money in banks abroad jeopardise tax agreements with nations providing those names to India.