During a debate in Rajya Sabha on 10th March, 2015 about the issue of Black Money, Digvijaya Singh (Congress MP & Former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh) raised the issue of assessment of black money. He once again referred to the remark made by Prime Minister Modi in the run up to the 2014 elections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark during an election rally in the run up to the 2014 general election has been one of the most discussed issues about black money. Modi had said that if all the black money stashed abroad is brought back, every poor man would get anywhere between 15 to 20 lakh rupees. Though this remark was made to explain the quantum of black money stashed abroad, it has been raised by the opposition time & again to question the logic behind such an estimate. It forced the BJP President Amit Shah to clarify that Modi’s remark was a ‘Political Jumla’ and not to be taken on face value.
During the Rajya Sabha debate on 10th March, Digvijaya Singh asked, “There have been wild assessments made by different agencies about the quantum of money stashed abroad ranging from Rs.40,000 crores to Rs. 70,000 crores to Rs.4,00,000 crores to Rs.40,00,000 crores, which, of course, prompted the Prime Ministerial candidate of the BJP to promise Rs.15,00,000 to every citizen, once the black money comes back in hundred days. Sir, I just want to know from the hon. Minister whether the Government of India has made any assessment of the quantum of black money stashed abroad.”
Finance Minister & Leader of the house in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley had to clarify the government’s position both on the estimate of black money and also Modi’s statement. He said, “There are various assessments which are made but in the absence of any particular authenticity with regard to those assessments, since statements made in this House are sacrosanct, I am not going to commit myself only to a speculative figure”. He said that the total income which is evaded is to the extent of Rs.3,250 crores so far based on the HSBC list of 628 names.
At this stage, Samajwadi Party MP, Kiranmai Nanda asked the basis on which PM Modi made the 15 Lakh rupees statement. Arun Jaitley had to say that there are various versions of the quantum of moneys and that PM’s statement is only an illustrative statement. He said “It is an illustrative statement which indicates that if any of those versions are accepted which indicate a higher amount of black money lying outside India, then pro rata that is the benefit accrues to the citizens of India. It is a statement which has been made by several people in that context and it must be taken entirely in that context”.
Source: Debate in the Rajya Sabha on 10th March, 2015.