Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh and national spokesperson Raghav Chadha on Friday slammed the central government for its silence on the killing of a man in Dadri, Greater Noida, for allegedly keeping beef in his house. They also asked the BJP-led government pointed questions on black money, besides several other important issues.
Ashutosh said, “Narendra Modi had come to power on the promise of bringing black money within 100 days and had also promised Rs 15 lakh in the account of every Indian. Now with disclosure and estimated tax realisation announced by the government, it can only deposit only Rs 18 in the account of every Indian. This is a joke on the people of the country.”
Ashutosh also questioned the prime minister’s silence on the Dadri lynching issue and reiterated AAP’s demand for the sacking of Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who had termed the killing an “accident”.
“The PM has time to embrace (Mark) Zuckerberg in silicon valley but no time to utter a word on the Dadri incident. The country expects the PM to speak on the issue, wipe the family’s tears. Since PM talks of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’, Mahesh Sharma ji has no right to continue in the Union Cabinet after all these statements. Even today he has visited the village and done politics,” he added.
On the other hand, Raghav threw up some figures on black money. He particularly listed out:
- Estimates suggest India’s black economy accounts for nearly 50% of its GDP. (India’s GDP is Rs.130 lacs crore approx, then it means black money is about Rs.65 lac crore approx). PM has previously quoted it to be Rs.80 Lac crore.
- Only 10% is stashed abroad; 90% remains in India.
- There are about 90 significant tax havens across the world.
Raghav also said that the government lacked “political will” to recover black money and urged Modi to acknowledge his “monumental failure” in putting Rs 15 lakh in every bank account as promised during the 2014 poll campaign.
Terming it as a “damp squib”, Chadha sought to know the rationale behind government’s new black money law (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 when existing laws were “stringent”.
While concluding their speech, the party listed out eight questions which the AAP wants to ask the BJP-led NDA’s central government:
Question 1: Prime Minister Modi had previously said that Rs 80 lakh crore is the estimated black money. In his tenure of 16 months so far only 0.05% of what was promised in 100 days has been achieved. Will the PM confess that he misled the people of India while seeking votes on false pretext?
Question 2: With Rs 3,770 crore declared black money, recovery/tax estimated to be collected on this Rs 2,262 crores, and with 2011 census figures of 121 crore population, a disgraceful figure of Rs.18.68 per citizen is arrived, while Rs 15 lakh was promised? Will PM Modi publicly accept his government’s failure?
Question 3: PM Modi in his Independence day speech claimed that Rs. 6500 Cr has been declared under the compliance window of the new law. He said “so far, Rs. 6,500 crore of undisclosed income have been declared.”
Now the figures shared by the Government is Rs.3,770 crore. Will the BJP Government come clean on this? Was the PM Modi, again, quoting wrong figures?
Question 4: Provisions of BLACK MONEY (UNDISCLOSED FOREIGN INCOME AND ASSETS) AND IMPOSITION OF TAX ACT, 2015 are well covered under the existing laws of the land. This act was never designed to tackle the menace of illicit money. It was a PR exercise.We would like to ask PM Modi’s government come clean on this and explain how is this legislation effectively different from the existing set of laws?
Question 5: Statements have been issued by senior bureaucrats of the Government of India that anyone who has not disclosed illicit money and assets kept abroad by the stated deadline, they will face severe consequences. Since most of the money goes out via ‘layering’, the true identity of the person controlling an illegitimate account abroad is hidden. If people are not caught then these provisions will be mere paper tigers. We urge the Union Government to speak on the fact whether they have designed a mechanism to catch the offenders?
Question 6: Most of the illicit money which is taken out of India, is brought back and legalised by opaque instruments like P notes and investment by companies registered in Tax havens like Mauritius etc. which allow the holders of this money to remain anonymous. We would like ask the Government as to when will they disallow such opaque instruments like P-notes, which is a mere administrative decision?
Question 7: If 50% of the economic activity in the country has an element of illegality (as suggested by estimates), then it is not an anecdotal or ad-hoc phenomenon. What has this government done to deal with domestic black money, since as estimates suggest 90% of black money is domestic?
Question 8: Funding of political parties is the major avenue where such illicit money finds home. The majority funding of BJP and Congress is opaque. Delhi HC indicted both these parties in March2014 for foreign funding and violations of FEMA. With the obscene display of wealth during elections by these parties, is it BJP’s deliberate strategy to not tackle the menace of illicit money?