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Studies assessing black money quantum handed to govt, at last

Over three years after they were commissioned, the much-awaited reports of studies to assess the quantum of black money in the economic channels of the country have been finally submitted to the government.

Finance Ministry has now begun high-level consultations to study these reports, which are aimed at furthering the efforts to dismantle the generation of illegal funds within the country and abroad.

The studies were commissioned in March, 2011, by the previous UPA government as part of its multi-pronged strategy to prepare a roadmap to check the phenomenon of black money.

Top sources in Finance Ministry told PTI that the studies have been “very recently” submitted to the government, along with a set of recommendations, by all the three national-level financial institutes which were asked to analyse the extent of the black money menace.

Sources privy to the contents of the three reports said there is a “major deviation” in the estimated quantum of the black economy in India and that it would not be easy to bring out a “common denominator” on the conclusions of the three reports.

“A team of some top officials and a few other experts will soon prepare a gist of the three studies to be submitted to the government and Finance Minister in quick time. The larger deliberations will take place afterwards,” sources said.

They said the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money, headed by retired Supreme Court Judge MB Shah, has been informed about the “broad estimates” made in the three studies.

“The exact figures and quantification of the black money or illicit economy in India and abroad cannot be made public as this is a privileged document which has to be placed before Parliament. The government is preparing to put these reports on the floor of the Parliament during the next session,” the sources said.

The studies have been authored by three organisations — the Delhi-based National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) and National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), and the National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM) situated at Faridabad in Haryana.

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