Rs1,35,500 cr black money left India in 2014 alone: watchdog

04 May 2017

While black money continues to be a major political issue in India, international watchdog Global Financial Integrity has estimated that money worth $21 billion (around Rs1,35,500 crore) was taken out of India illegally in 2014.

In its latest report, GFI also threw some light upon illegal inflow of funds, with India being identified as the parking spot for around $101 billion (Rs6,52,056 crore), 11 per cent more than in the previous year.

Titled Illicit Financial Flows to and from Developing Countries: 2005-2014, the report said that between $620 billion and $970 billion was drained out across all emerging market countries, primarily through the trade fraud route. In all, illegal inflows and outflows were estimated to constitute 14-24 per cent of total developing country trade between 2005 and 2014.

The highly detailed report is being considered far more precise than its predecessors as GFI published it after analysing information on international trade and balance of payments.

It included data from other sources wherever International Monetary Fund data proved to be insufficient and Swiss data on gold exports, which together led to a revision of India's inflow and outflow figures.

''Due to India's large imports of gold from Switzerland, rectifying this data issue significantly closed observed bilateral trade gaps between the two countries,'' one of the report's co-authors, economist Joseph Spanjers, was quoted as saying by Times of India.

Despite the report presenting a range of estimates for inflows and outflows for India, economists have termed both the lower and higher ends of the range as 'conservative', taking into account that it was difficult to trace all illegal transactions. However, the higher end of the range is closer to previous years' estimates, while the lower end only takes into account trade gaps with developed economies, Spanjers said.

(Read more: Illicit Financial Flows in Developing Countries Large and Persistent)

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