SIT says Rs70,000-cr black money detected from various sources

The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money is reported to have unearthed black money worth Rs70,000 crore from various sources - both within and outside the country.

More than Rs16,000 crore of the Rs70,000 crore was detected after probe launched into global leaks about Indians stashing funds abroad, said deputy chairman of the SIT Justice Arijit Pasayat.

Justice Pasayat on Thursday held a meeting with officials of several government agencies dealing with economic and financial affairs in Cuttack, ahead of the sixth interim report to be submitted to the Supreme Court in April.

While the actual amount of black money detected is nowhere near the Rs15,000 lakh that had Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to bring back from each overseas account, during his campaign for the Lok Sabha election three years ago, SIT considers it as a good start.

He said the SIT has, in its previous interim reports submitted to the Supreme Court over the past two years, made several recommendations to check generation of black money.

"While most of our recommendations have been accepted by the government, some are under active consideration to clampdown on black money," he said.

"One of our proposals, on cash holding of Rs15 lakh or more to be presumed as undisclosed, is under serious consideration of the central government," Justice Pasayat said, adding that on the SIT's recommendation the government has already declared that cash transaction beyond Rs3 lakh will be treated as illegal and punishable under law.

Of the rest of the suggestions, Pasayat said, "One of our proposals, on cash holding of Rs15 lakh or more to be presumed as undisclosed, is under serious consideration of the central government."

While Modi's steps to curb black money, including demonetisation, have been commendable, they have not yielded the desired results, and that can be seen as lack of will on the part of officials and their political bosses.