Lok Sabha Budget Session: Unaccounted wealth stashed abroad by Indians is estimated to be in the range of $216.48 billion to $490 billion between 1980 and 2010, the Standing Committee on Finance said in a report tabled in 17th Lok Sabha Budget session Monday.
The Committee prepared the 73rd report, 'status of unaccounted income/wealth both inside and outside the country - a critical analysis (a preliminary report)' which was introduced in both the houses of parliament.
The report on black money does not put out a final figure regarding the amount of the illicit funds stashed abroad or within in the country. The preliminary report was earlier presented to former Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan on March 28, a copy of which was also uploaded on the Lok Sabha website following the directions of the committee.
"In the past five years, the NDA government gave only slogans and no solid action was taken against black money," Veerappa Moily, Chairman of the standing committee that presented the report told the Economic Times.
"We have mentioned in the report that direct tax reforms are the need of the hour and, instead of making piecemeal amendment to the I-T Act, we require a simplified code on direct taxes. Reforms in direct taxes are still pending. It has not gone in tandem with reforms in indirect taxes such as the GST," he added.
The report is a conclusive document derived from the studies of three institutes- National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and the National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM).
These three institutes were asked by the erstwhile UPA government in 2011 to give an estimate on the quantum of black money abroad and in the country.
However, after going through their respective reports, the standing committee 'found a wide variation' in their evaluation. "The variations in estimate are more than 100% in some cases," Moily told the news daily.
All three independent studies gave varied results throwing the estimates to be anything between 7% and 120% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).