Examining Reports on Black
Money Commissioned by UPA: Finance Ministry
News 18, September
Responding to an
RTI query filed by a PTI correspondent, the ministry said
information on the findings of the reports was "exempt from
disclosure" under the RTI Act as they were under examination.
The Finance Ministry says it is examining three reports on the
quantum of black money held by Indians inside the country and
abroad that were commissioned by the previous UPA regime and
submitted more than three years ago.
Responding to an RTI query filed by a PTI correspondent, the
ministry said information on the findings of the reports was
"exempt from disclosure" under the RTI Act as they were under
examination and were yet to be "taken to" Parliament.
The studies were conducted by the Delhi-based National Institute
of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) and National Council of
Applied Economic Research (NCAER) as well as the National
Institute of Financial Management (NIFM) in Faridabad.
The NIPFP, NCAER and NIFM reports were received by the
government on December 30, 2013, July 18, 2014, and August 21,
The present Narendra Modi-led BJP government came to power in
"Information is exempt from disclosure under Section 8 (1) (c)
of the RTI Act, 2005, as the study reports received from the
three institutes are under examination of the government and the
same along with the government's response on these reports are
yet to be taken to the Parliament through the Standing
Committeeon Finance," the finance ministry said in its reply.
The Section bars "information, the disclosure of which would
cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State
These reports have already been submitted to the Standing
Committee on Finance.
There is at present no official assessment on the quantum of
black money in India and abroad.
A recent study by the US-based think tank Global Financial
Integrity (GFI) said an estimated USD 770 billion in black money
entered India during 2005-2014.
Nearly USD 165 billion in illicit money exited the country
during the same period, the global financial watchdog had said.
"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 were based on various unverifiable assumptions
and approximations, it had said.
"Government has been seized of the matter and has, therefore,
commissioned these institutions to get an estimation and sense
of the quantum of illicit fund generated and held within and
outside the country," the ministry had said.
The Terms of Reference (ToR) for the studies included assessment
or survey of unaccounted income and wealth and profiling the
nature of activities engendering money laundering both within
and outside the country.
While NIPFP and NIFM are autonomous institutes of the Finance
Ministry, NCAER is India's oldest and largest independent,
non-profit, economic policy research institute.
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