PM questions black money estimate of 4 lakh crore

Thursday, 30 June 2011, 11:28 Hrs
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh questioned the calculation behind estimating black money stashed by Indians abroad at 4 lakh crore ($89.16 billion) but said all possible steps were being taken to bring it back.

"Four lakh crores or whatever the figures of black money being mentioned, I do not know what is the basis of those calculations. Whatever is possible is being done," the prime minister said in his introductory remarks during an interaction with a select group of print editors.

According to the prime minister, black money was a scourge that affected not only India but other economies as well and that there was no magic wand that could provide an instant solution to what he described as a societal problem.

Unofficial estimates put the amount of ill-gotten money stashed by Indians abroad upto $1.4 trillion.

The prime minister said his government was in the process of negotiating double taxation avoidance agreements and tax information agreements with many countries to bring the black money back.

"We have fought hard in the G20 to see that the secrecy of tax saving banking systems should be modified," he said.

"This is not a one-shot operation. We are doing all that is possible and we could accelerate it. We are committed to pursue all that is fiscally possible to deal with these problems of black money, problems of tax evading money and corruption," the prime minister said.

Manmohan Singh emphasised on the need for a strong mechanism to deal with illegal activities including tax evasion, narcotics and trafficking of human beings.
Source: IANS
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