The government on Friday listed out the steps being taken to unearth and curb black money as yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s agitation against illegal wealth stashed abroad entered its second day at Delhi’s Ramlila grounds.
In a 13-page factsheet, the government said undisclosed income of Rs 49,325 crore had been detected in the country in the last three years. Tax evasion of Rs 600 crore was found through inputs from abroad.
The government said it was pursuing 43,265 pieces of information about suspicious transactions received from overseas and domestic agencies. Over 12,500 pieces of information on assets and payments received by Indian citizens in several countries had been obtained and were “under different stages of processing and investigation”.
The crowds at Ramdev’s agitation were steady on Janmashtami, but didn’t pick up as was expected on a holiday.
“Why is the Prime Minister not acting against those having black money? The government should release the names of those with black money abroad,” Ramdev said.
He emphasised he wasn’t seeking any political space or planning to dislodge the government — distinct from the now-disbanded Team Anna’s strident attacks against the government.
The government, however, didn’t appear keen on initiating talks with Ramdev.
“What’s there to talk? So many steps have been taken by the government over the past year, including a white paper in the budget session of Parliament,” said a government source.
To draw an estimate of Indian entities’ unaccounted wealth at home and abroad, the government has commissioned a study by three thinktanks –National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, National Institute of Financial Management and the National Council for Applied Economic Research.
So far, there are no reliable estimates of black money within and outside the country. According to Global Financial Integrity, a Washington-based thinktank, Indians stored away $462 billion (about R25.4 lakh crore) in overseas tax havens between 1948 and 2008.