Given the rampant looting of public funds in our country, it is hardly surprising that money amounting to half-a-trillion dollars has illegally flowed out of the country since 1948 (“Illegal financial flows: the great drain robbery,” Nov. 18). This money is indeed the product of corruption, bribery, kickbacks, criminal activities and tax evasions, as pointed out by the Global Financial Integrity. It is alarming to note that a substantial chunk of GDP, which could have been used for paying our external debts, alleviating poverty and developing our economy, has been stashed away in foreign countries.
Nirmala P. Rao,
The figures mentioned in the article have, I am sure, left the readers shocked. “Illegal financial flows” is a euphemism for sophisticated loot and plunder by some beneficiaries of liberalisation. The Hindu has rendered a great service by publishing the article. The issue seldom gets the attention it deserves. The government has not demonstrated any great urgency to go after the crooks and bring back at least part of the money. While international collaboration is urgently called for to check cross-border flow of black money, national governments must do their part by reforming domestic laws and strengthening enforcement.
The article lays bare the mind-boggling details of the dark secrets of financial drain from our country. It has demolished the decades-old myth of a poverty-ridden India. Mismanagement or lack of management at the Centre and State levels has brought us to this situation. This should be acknowledged by those at the helm of decision-making. Only then can we go forward in arresting the money drain and bringing back the money that is rightfully ours.
Importantly, the GFI report reveals that the outflows started assuming mind-boggling dimensions only after the ushering in of LPG policies in the 1990s. Was not the country given to understand time and again, by our India Shining brigade, that the extermination of the licence raj regulatory mechanisms and reduction of taxes for the rich would eliminate the parallel economy by dis-incentivising tax evasion? Why has the magic theory of lesser-the-taxes-higher-the-taxpayer-compliance worked in the reverse direction?