BJP leader L K Advani on Wednesday urged President Pranab Mukherjee to get the government to bring back black money as was promised in a white paper presented in Parliament over a year ago.
Writing on his blog, Advani expressed disappointment that since the white paper on black money was presented in May 2012 by Pranab, who was then the Union Finance Minister, no follow-up action had been taken.
“I wish to urge Pranab Mukherjee, who is today in a far more exalted position than he was when he presented his white paper, to ensure that the promise made to the people in this document is fulfilled by the government both in letter and spirit,” the BJP patriarch wrote.
Advani recalled that “Pranabda” had said in Parliament: “There is no doubt that manifestation of black money in social, economic and political space of our lives has a debilitating effect on the institutions of governance and conduct of public policy in the country. Governance failure and corruption in the system affect the poor disproportionately.
“The success of an inclusive development strategy critically depends on the capacity of our society to root out the evil of corruption and black money from its very foundations.”
“The three premier institutions tasked to quantify the magnitude of black money have still not submitted their reports. Not only the more powerful nations like the US and Germany but even smaller countries like Nigeria, Peru and Philippines have got back their illicitly lost wealth from tax havens. We in India, on the other hand, have seen some reports about the names (of people) who are supposed to have accounts in Swiss banks or such other tax havens, but have not heard of even a single paisa illegally stashed abroad having been repatriated to our country,” Advani further lamented.
Advani reminisced how the BJP has been in the forefront in raising the issue for the last five years. When it was first raised in 2008, Congress spokespersons ridiculed it, he added. On April 6, 2008, Advani wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue.