Finance Ministry refuses to disclose black money reports

India

04 Feb 2019

Can't disclose black-money reports as Parl Panel examining them: FM

The Finance Ministry has declined to share copies of three reports on the quantum of black money held by Indians inside the country and abroad, saying they were being examined by a Parliamentary panel and disclosing details will cause a breach of privilege of the House.

The reports were submitted to the government more than four years ago.

Read the details here.

RTI reply

UPA government had commissioned NIPFP, NCAER, NIFM studies in 2011

UPA government had commissioned NIPFP, NCAER, NIFM studies in 2011

The UPA-government had commissioned in 2011 the studies by the Delhi-based National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), and the National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM) in Faridabad.

Replying to an RTI query, it said these study reports were received by the government on December 30 (2013), July 18 (2014), and August 21 (2014), respectively.

Petitioner

Reports in response to RTI-query placed before standing committee: Ministry

"The reports and government's response to it have been forwarded to Lok Sabha secretariat for placing them before the Standing Committee on Finance," the ministry said.

The Lok Sabha secretariat has informed that the same has been placed before the committee which will examine it, it said in a reply to an RTI application filed by PTI correspondent Ashwini Shrivastava.

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Denying disclosure

Ministry says it'd 'cause a breach of privilege of Parliament'

Ministry says it'd 'cause a breach of privilege of Parliament'

The ministry denied to share the copies of these reports, saying that the disclosure would cause the breach of privilege of Parliament and, therefore, the information sought is exempt from disclosure under Section 8 (1) (c) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The section bars information, "the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament".

GFI study

Estimated $770 billion black money entered India during 2005-14: GFI

The reports were submitted to the panel on July 21, 2017.

There's, at present, no official assessment on the quantum of black money in India and abroad.

According to a study by US-based think-tank Global Financial Integrity (GFI), an estimated $770 billion in black money entered India during 2005-2014.

Nearly $165 billion in illicit money exited the country during the same period, it said.

Comment

Estimates by GFI based on unverifiable assumptions: Finance Ministry

Estimates by GFI based on unverifiable assumptions: Finance Ministry

"The issue of black money has attracted a lot of public and media attention in the recent past. So far, there are no reliable estimates of black money generated and held within and outside the country," the Finance Ministry had said while ordering the studies in 2011.

These estimates (by GFI) were based on various unverifiable assumptions and approximations, it had said.

About

Studies were to identify unaccounted money details in the economy

The Terms of Reference (ToR) for the studies included the assessment or survey of unaccounted income and wealth, and profiling the nature of activities engendering money laundering both within and outside the country.

The studies were to identify, among other issues, important sectors of the economy in which unaccounted money was generated and examine the causes and conditions that resulted in the generation.

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Delhi-based National Institute

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National Council of Applied Economic Research

National Institute of Financial Management

National Institute of Public Finance

NCAER

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