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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

Photo-Swiss-Bank-The-government-has-written-to-Switzerland-seeking-details-of-Indians-who-have-stashed-away-unaccounted-money-in-the-country-Thinkstock-photo

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.