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'Impossible to put a figure'

     Print Edition: July 10, 2011

The former member of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, shares his insights. Edited excerpts:

On the amount of black money: It is very substantial, virtually impossible to put a figure to it.

On Mauritius: They are very tough negotiators.

Durgesh Shankar
Durgesh Shankar, Former Member, CBDT
On getting black money back: A country needs to make its own system attractive as an investment destination so that people are tempted to bring back money. There is also a large amount of Indian black money within the country. Most of it is used in running businesses. Go to Dharavi. See how much business is going on. It is outside the tax system. Why don't we work on bringing this into organised fold? What does it entail? I don't say don't go after black money abroad. But first of all let's clean up India. Once you clean up, two things will happen. GDP will register skyrocketing growth and generation of further black money will stop.

On other domestic reforms: Let us talk rural first. That is one area where you won't have any data, but rural India is generating a lot of black money. Let agricultural operations in respect of essential food items be out (of the tax net). But what about other activities? We have set up huge cooperatives in mandis, they have all become great sources for giving a cloak of respectability to unaccounted money

Full transcript of the interview at www.businesstoday.in/shankar

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