Updated: Sep 14, 2020
“Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, and to God the things that are God's,"
We, the people of India, do not have to feel shy to accept that the democracy is a failed joke in India and the recent developments in Kerala’s political landscape is underlining the said truth. When we elect a political person as our representative to a legislative body, we are not realising the fact that, we are giving power to another Bhasmasura, an asura or demon who was granted the power to burn up and immediately turn anyone into ashes (bhasma) whose head he touched with his hand. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Like Shiva who had given the power to Bhasmasura, We the People of India, also does not have the power to withdraw the blessings given to our so called representatives.
The political landscape, of a loosely governed nation like India, is an apt platform to generate and launder black money which is being generated through corruption and other illegal activities. White Paper on Black Money presensted in the Lok Sabha on May 21, 2012 defines black money as, ‘assets or resources that have neither been reported to the public authorities at the time of their generation nor disclosed at any point of time during their possession’. Black money can be generated through (i) illegal activities like crime, drug trade, terrorism and corruption or (ii) failing to pay dues to the public exchequer in one form or another. In the second case, activities might be legal but the perpetrator may simply have failed to report the income generated to avoid paying tax. Though several measures has already been taken by Central Government to curb the generation and circulation of the “black money”, through enactment of legislations such as Black Money(Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, Introduction of Income Declaration Scheme(IDS) and made a drastic move such as “Demonitisation” , but the effect of black money had not reduced its impact on the society.
There are many theories behind accumulation of wealth in the form of Unaccounted money. High level of taxation is often highlighted as a reason for stalking of money as hard cash or parking in real estate or jewellery or bullion. However, the facts shows that, India is having lowest tax slabs, for individuals as well as for Corporates, when comparing to other countries. The Central Government had recently reduced the Corporate tax slab to 24% from 33% , which had helped the corporates to disclose more income. However, the majority of the black money generated in India is coming from the political foregrounds , where money is being generated mainly through corruption. As the said chunk of money is being generated through illegal activities, mainly as commission for allocating government projects and other activities to interested persons, the reduction in tax rates will not have any positive impact on it. It may be noted that most of the contracts are now a days being allocated to foreign entities and companies through Global Tenders! The level of corruption, in the Governmental systems, are extremely high and the same had created an unholy and unhealthy partnership between executive and bureaucracy with political leaders , which is a deadly combination to generate and launder the black money.
When the Governmental systems are finding a way to block the black money and money laundering through one side, the fraudsters who are the part of same governmental systems, shall find hundreds of new ways to generate and launder more money. The real estate, once was the safe havens of the launders to park their illegal wealth, is now under strict surveillance of the revenue and tax systems and not safe anymore. So the next best alternate option to park the illegal money, which could be used for terrorist and anti-national activities, is in bullion or jewellery.
The political stalwarts, who are much farsighted than average Indians, had identified the Airports as safe gateways to bring in their stained money to India, which are being accepted outside India as consideration for the contracts awarded, and took control over the said gateways through their favourite business men, to easily transit the said illegal money in the form of bullions, gold biscuits and jewellery through illegal means back to Indian soil. The said bullions, gold biscuits and jewellery will safely reach the backyards to our “most favourite jewellers”, who shall convert it into ornaments and jewelleries. The said money shall be pumped again into the financial veins of India and indirectly benefit the real owners of the money. So they have their own reasons to object the privatisation of Airports, which an ordinary layman cannot easily understand.
The black money is a menace, which is pinning down the dreams of poor Indians , to make them poorer and destined to make the politicians and its bureaucratic henchmen, the Bhasmasuras of new age. The curbing of black money is impossible, but being aware about the impact of that in the social and economic well-being of our nation, will help us to fight for gaining the power to withdraw the blessings we had given to them.
Bijoy P Pulipra