Black Money in India: No Eradication in Next 20 Years!

Black Money in India: No Eradication in Next 20 Years!

Let us see some information about black money and corruption in India:
  • Black economy is assessed to be 30% of GDP.
  • In Feb 2012, the director of theCBI had said that Indians have $500 billion of illegal funds in foreign tax havens, more than any other country.
  • Under the supervision of the SIT the I-T department was expected to have recovered around Rs 10000 crores from some of the foreign account holders.
  • The MC Joshi committee on black money reported in Jan 2012: “The two major national parties claim to have incomes of merely5 billion and 2 billion. But this isn’t “even a fraction” of their expenses. These parties spend between 100 billion and 150 billion annually on election expenses alone.
  • Over 30% of Indian elected representatives are charged with corruption cases.
  • Shanti Bhushan had stated in 2010 that out of the 16 Chief Justices 8 were definitely corrupt, 6 were definitely honest and about the remaining 2 he was doubtful.
  • A 2011 KPMG study reports India’s real estate, telecommunications and government-run social development projects as the three top most corruption plagued sectors.
  • .Daily sources of corruption include India’s trucking industry which is forced to pay billions in bribes annually to numerous regulatory and police stops on interstate highways.
  • India Corruption Study-2005 reported that an amount totalling Rs.21,068 crores is required to be paid as bribe annually by ordinary citizens of India for obtaining legitimate services from Government functionaries.Over 60% of the population has paid bribes for legitimate services.
  • Given below is a list of major scams in which there has been no conviction till date:
    • Bofors scam of 1989 of Rs 64 crores.
    • Jain ‘havala’ case of 1990s of Rs 11 crores.
    • 2 G scam of 1.76 lac crores.
    • Commonwealth Games scam of 70 thousand crores.
    • Coal blocks allocation scam of 1.86 lac crores.
    • Mine scandal of Karnataka.
    • Cash for vote scam.
Three Pillars of Indian Democracy

The three pillars of Indian democracy, that are: the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary can be assessed to have been comprising of about 50% (30% have been charged, at least 20% are assessed to have been not charged!) directly corrupt persons, 30% persons who have closed their eyes to corruption and balance 20% who may have been honest, or of doubtful integrity.

Democratic Leaders are Reflection of Society

Democratic leaders are definitely a reflection of our society. The level of corruption in our society would be somewhat comparable with the % representation in the three pillars. Since we are a corrupt society, we have rightly elected corrupt leaders!

Promises and Policies to Eradicate Black Money

Promises and policies are made to show to the public that some action is being taken. The data given above indicates that promises and policies do not translate into action. Corruption at the highest level in a large number of areas has definitely reduced in the NDA government compared to UPA.  This is a good sign. However, I am a big sceptic for two simple and big reasons-

  1. So long as elections are won by black money, elected representatives can never have the moral authority to convict the corrupt, which includes themselves in large numbers!
  2. The chances of evading conviction are very high. Black money can be used to secure non-conviction by bribing one’s way through!
Conclusion: Black Money in India: No Eradication in Next 20 Years!

There is great resentment against black money and corruption. It was apparent in the support to Anna Hazare & Kejriwal’s victory in Delhi.  There is little hope that it can be eliminated. The process of elimination has to start top down. The top has considerable incentive and no deterrence of conviction to continue business as usual!
Does it mean that there is no solution? That this menace of the society will continue as such till eternity? The answer is no. Elimination will never take place. It will get considerably reduced through a gradual process and much effort of the citizens. This will be discussed in my next blog: “Eradication of Black Money”.

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