The government today tabled the much-awaited White Paper on black money in Parliament which did not disclose any name but made a strong case for setting up Lokpal and Lokayuktas to deal with the menace.The White Paper, which was tabled by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Lok Sabha, also did not provide the government’s estimate of black money, within and outside the country, though it quoted various estimates of other agencies on the issue.
The 97-page document, however, pitched for fast-track courts to expeditiously deal with financial offences and deterrent punishment for offenders.
It has also suggested tax incentives for encouraging the use of debit and credit cards as these leave audit trails.
On the possibility of any tax immunity scheme, especially gold deposit scheme, to deal with black money, it said, “The issue of complete tax immunity needs to be examined in the light of other policy objectives.”
The document seeks to dispel the impression that the government was not doing enough to deal with black money and talks about various policy options and strategies it has been pursuing to address the issue of corruption in public life.
Referring to the issue of institutions like Lokpal and Lokayuktas, the Paper said, “(they) need to be put in place at the earliest, in the Centre and the States respectively, to expedite investigations into cases of corruption and bring the guilty to justice.”
The government has not been able to push through the Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha, despite pressure from the civil society. The Bill was approved by the Lok Sabha.