Friday, May 20, 2011

Combating the Black Money Menace: We can not keep moping the floor with tap open….
Need to stop it its generation

Delhi, 19th May 2011: Foundation for Peace, Harmony and Good Governance in association with Global Steel 2012 organised a day long National Seminar on Black Money on 18th May 2011 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
The seminar that was attended by more than 400 delegates from all over India sought for an open discussion to weed out the menace of generation and circulation of black money in the economy. The Inaugural address of the conference was given by the chief guest Hon’ble Justice Shri. P.V. Reddi , Chairman, Law Commission of India. Sri Pranab Mukherjee, Hon’ble Finance Minister of India, had sent a goodwill message wishing the success of the seminar.
Shri D R Kaarthikeyan, President, FGG and Former Director CBI, in his welcome and introductory address pointed out that corruption is all pervasive and affects everyone; and black money is a part of this problem. Justice Shri PV Reddy, Chairman, Law Commission of India, in his inaugural address opined that corruption and black money are intertwined and all pervasive. He further pointed that hawala, real estate dealing etc leads to corruption and creation of black money. Mr Arun Kumar Jagatramka, Chairman Global Steel 2012 and CMD, Gujarat NRE Coke in his concluding remarks that there is an urgent need for a relook at all our laws, since in an effort to keep the offenders at bay, the laws are heavily drafted. But the irony is that while the dishonest buys his ways out, the honest is hit hard. He further said that only certainty of punishment as against severity of punishment would ensure that the guilt do not roam scot free. Mr Jagatramka also said that there is a need to identify extortionary corruption as against collusive corruption since the corruption by the various enforcement agencies is mostly extortionary in nature and hurts the common man the most. Mr Sudhir Chandra, Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes, in his address pointed out that until 15th May 2011, in term of numbers, 1.15 crores of refund has been made by the department. Mr Chandra pointed out that the Department has contributed around 6% to the GDP this year, which translates to an amount of around Rupees four lakh forty six thousand thereby exceeding the budget. He also called for the need for a reform in the investigation wing of CBDT. He also stressed the need to abide by the five point strategy announced by the Finance Minister in the current budget that includes joining the global crusade against black money, getting an appropriate legislative framework, setting up institutions for dealing with illicit money, developing a system of implementation and imparting skills. Mr R Sri Kumar, Vigilance Commissioner, Central Vigilance Commission opined that black money leads to parallel economy that affects the process of governance as well as is a threat to democracy. He also informed the audience regarding Operation Vig-Eye that has been launched with the objective to empower citizens to report corruption. For the institutions to function effectively, there should be transparency, technology, efficiency, empowerment and mutual cooperation, he added. Ms Kiran Bedi, former IPS officer, in her robust speech, opined that three departments are the most corrupt in India: Income tax, Land department and Police. Mr B G Verghese, eminent journalist and writer advocated for autonomy of institutions and the implementation of existing laws and regulations. Other prominent speakers of the day included Swami Agnivesh, Shri Wajahat Habibullah, Chairperson, National Commission for Minorities, Shri V S Sampath, Election Commissioner, Shri P S Bawa, Chairman TII, among others.

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