India refuses to guesstimate black money stashed abroad

04 May 2016

There is no official estimation of amount of black money that has been sent to foreign countries by Indians, the government said on Tuesday.

''Determination of black money sent to foreign countries by Indian persons is subject matter of investigation and other follow-up actions by relevant law enforcement agencies, including Income Tax Department, Enforcement Directorate, the Central Bureau of Investigation etc, which is on-going.

''However, details regarding the amount of money involved in such cases are not maintained centrally,'' minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

Asked whether the Indian share in black money stashed in tax havens across the world is at $152 billion to $181 billion, as per the recent estimate by economists from the Bank of Italy, he said there seems to be no empirical evidence to suggest that the figures arrived at on the basis of certain assumptions and presumptions, necessarily represent Indian's share in black money stashed in tax havens.

These economists have reportedly analysed data from the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of International Settlement (BIS) and applied certain assumptions to arrive at the estimation, he added.

The minister pointed out that by applying another set of assumptions, the same economists have reportedly estimated Indian share in black assets at just $4 billion to $5 billion.

''In the context of these estimations, they have reportedly put the caveat that these estimations have to be considered with great care and in no way can represent firm data,'' Sinha said.

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