Despite studies by think tanks and Parliamentary panel, black money estimates go into a black hole

After years of study by eminent think tanks and an overarching probe by a panel led by Congress leader Veerappa Moily, estimates of black money continue to be a mirage. 

Published: 25th June 2019 02:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th June 2019 10:21 AM   |  A+A-

Corruption

For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: After years of study by eminent think tanks and an overarching probe by a panel led by Congress leader Veerappa Moily, estimates of black money continue to be a mirage. 

There are neither reliable estimates of black money nor fool-proof methods to make estimates, says the Moily panel’s report tabled in Parliament on Monday.

The Manmohan Singh government had in March 2011 commissioned NIPFP, NCAER and NIFM to assess unaccounted income and wealth inside and outside the country. The reports were submitted in December 2013, July 2014 and August 2014, respectively, but these were not made public. 

The Moily panel took on itself to prepare a report based on these three studies earlier this year and managed to submit it to the then Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. 

“Reliable estimation of unaccounted income and wealth inside and outside the country is a difficult task. This inference is validated by the widely varying estimates of the unaccounted income arrived at by these three institutes. The CEA has opined there is no scope for arriving at a common estimate of unaccounted income by combining estimates from the three reports,” said the report titled Status of Unaccounted Income/Wealth Both Inside and Outside the Country: A Critical Analysis. 

While NCAER had said unaccounted wealth abroad was between $384 billion and $490 billion during the 1980-2010 period, NIFM said total illicit outflow from India during 1990-2008 was $216.48 billion.

Meanwhile,  NIPFP estimated that during 1997-2009, illicit financial outflows were in the range of 0.2 per cent to 7.4 per cent of GDP. 

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