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Phoney War Against Black Money?
by Dr. Rajinder Puri Bookmark and Share

During the recent election campaign BJP leaders made promises about cleaning up corruption. But they refrained from mentioning specific cases of corruption that had already been nailed but not acted upon sufficiently. BJP leaders also spoke about unearthing black money and bringing it back from foreign banks. But yet again they refrained from mentioning cases of black money accounts in foreign banks specified by reputed sources abroad. The attitude was suspect.

This writer argued with friends who were excited about prospects of black money being unearthed and corruption cases nailed under the Modi government. He remained sceptical. Cross party relationships were too deep to provide hope of official action against corruption. However he assured his friends that there would indeed be huge exposures that would emanate not from domestic but from foreign sources. The example of the Bofors scandal was there. The real exposures came from abroad. Now governments across the world are being compelled to clean up their acts on black money. The reason is that the spread of terrorism and narcotics have imperiled security.

Currently the government is taking credit for its war against black money. Sections of the media are lapping up the government’s hype. But what is the truth? The Special Investigative Team (SIT) set up to probe black money had been ordered by the Supreme Court which the government could not defy. The second great breakthrough being trumpeted is the decision of Swiss authorities to reveal names of illegal account holders. Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley has said that he would write to the Swiss government for details because as yet the government had received no official communication from the Swiss government.

Why should the Swiss government have communicated with the Indian government? Despite over a month having passed since Mr. Modi took office the government has not written to a single foreign government for information about illegal account holders. The German and other governments had offered to provide several lists of illegal accounts in their possession. The UPA government had politely ignored the offer. Should not the NDA government immediately on assuming office have written to the German and other governments and requested for the lists? For thirty days this was not done. At last the Swiss government took a decision on its own. The Swiss government is in the process of changing its laws to facilitate exposure of illegal accounts in the future. And Mr. Jaitley has decided to write to the Swiss government for more information on Indians holding black money. From all this does it appear that unearthing black money is on top of the government’s priorities?

There is no dearth of black money earned through corruption within the country. There are glaring examples of tainted individuals in politics and big business under the scanner of the Enforcement Director. What prevents the government from conducting raids and making seizures of black money? Therefore one would like to wait and watch. One has little doubt that corruption will be exposed. But how much of that will be compelled by foreign exposured or to our own government remains to be seen. After all, once corruption is exposed its trail can move in all directions. Which political party would be comfortable with that possibility?

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Comments on this Article

Comment mr. puri have RED CHASMA on his eyes, he is still not able to fathom, that Modi win the election.

r k gaur
06/29/2014 01:52 AM

Comment In response to the same article appeared in the Statesman the other day, someone commented that yours is a "phony war against Modi". I couldn't agree more with that reader! No wonder, the PM himself commented in his blog that let alone 100 days, allegations and accusations against the Govt started flying thick and fast even before it completed 100 hours in office. A new Govt is in place with any number of problems on the economy, law and order, inflation and price rise, foreign relations etc. and its agenda no.1 cannot be to write to the Swiss authorities about black money. I request you to allow at least six months' time and I am sure you will then have a different opinion about this Govt.

06/27/2014 02:37 AM

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