The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance has directed the Union Finance Ministry to make separate reports on black money filed by three research institutes — the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, National Institute of Financial Management and the National Council of Applied Economic Research — available to the public.
The decision was taken at a recent meeting of the standing committee in the Parliament House complex. According to sources, the assessments made in the three reports were discussed at the meeting attended by Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey and Central Board of Direct Taxation Chairman Pramod Chandra Mody.
A source in the Standing Committee told NDTV that the reports filed by the three institutes — each quoting vastly different figures — were tabled at the meeting. While one of the reports suggested that 2% of the cash currently in circulation may be unaccounted for, another suggested that the amount of black money in India could be more than that in any other country.
Standing Committee chairman Veerappa Moily has now decided to present a detailed report on the matter to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, so it can be taken up for further discussion.
The erstwhile United Progressive Alliance government had commissioned the three institutes to study the issue in 2011, and the reports were submitted between 2013 and 2014. According to a study by US-based think-tank Global Financial Integrity, an estimated $770 billion in black money entered India between 2005 and 2014. Nearly $165 billion in illicit money also exited the country during the same period, it said.
The Finance Ministry had earlier refused to share copies of the three reports, saying that doing so at a time while they were still being researched would amount to being a “breach of privilege” of Parliament.