Preliminary response stated government does not have any computation of how much black money abroad

There seems to be a new kite flying gesture by politicos that has tumbled out on the eve of Makar Sankranti. The lakhs and lakhs of crores of rupees that are stashed in safe havens abroad which were to make every citizen richer by lakhs comes from pure wind. At least that is what is the preliminary impression from a response to an RTI application on black money. Former Central Information Commissioner, Shailesh Gandhi, through his RTI application had sought to know the estimate of the black money that is stashed abroad. The application was also made to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Through his application, Gandhi had sought to know: “If any estimate has been made by the Government of India of the amount of black money of Indians in foreign banks, I want the amount estimated. If there are different estimates of the amount please give me the different estimates and the names of departments which have given the estimate. If there is no estimate in records, this should be stated. I would like to point out that no exemption will apply in this case and I am attaching a full bench order of the Central Information Commission for your ready reference.” The PMO transferred the application to the Finance ministry which in turn transferred it to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). In a reply to Gandhi by Investigation-I of CBDT, it stated that “so far as the same relates to the work area of” its department, “There is no such estimate”. The reply further stated that Gandhi could go in for a first appeal if he wished to. The response has amused applicant as it was one of the major campaign issue pre-election. None other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stated that he will be getting back the money within 100 days of him assuming office. “If I am not mistaken, some officials from CBI went abroad to pursue the case. If we have no rough estimate also, what are we doing? What it means is that everyone is flying kite. You cannot have an accurate picture but some detail ought to be there. This shows that either media and politicos are spinning yarn or government is unaware. All those expecting over a million to be credited to their account, can wake up and get back to the grind of earning money,” said Gandhi.

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