New Delhi: After facing heat from several quarters over black money issue, the Congress-led UPA government last week announced the constitution of three more committees to bring back the unaccounted money stashed abroad. However, the step is perceived to be another hollow attempt to check inflow and outflow of the illegal money as in past, four committees have already been formed in this regard but no action was ever taken on their recommendations.

The four committees constituted in the past were:

Wanchoo Committee: The Committee was formed to examine and suggest measures to curb black money under the chairmanship of Justice N Wanchoo in 1971. The panel reported that the country had accounted wealth of Rs 7,000 crore and made recommendations to rein in the illegal money by ending the license methods, transparency in donations made to political parties and to bring radical changes in the businesses transaction besides launching a campaign against black money across the country.

The government, however, never gave a thought to the recommendations and it also failed to implement the proposals made by a sub-committee to prevent tax evasions in the country.

Dangli Committee: The committee was constituted in 1980 to review and make appropriate suggestions on the subsidies and government control. The panel in its recommendations discussed in great detail the problem of black money and suggested measures to counter-check the illegal earnings. According to sources, this committee had for the first time reported about the grave situation emerging out of the black money and the losses suffered by the country.

Rajah Chelliah Committee: After the Dangli committee, the then Central government constituted this committee, which presented its report in 1983-84 stating that 18 percent of India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) i.e. Rs 22,000 crore was available as black money. The panel had held the tax provisions responsible for the unaccounted money. The Committee had also attributed political environment responsible for the same and had suggested to keep a tab on political donations. The Central government, however, took a few steps to reform the tax structure, but the initiative was taken in a half-hearted way.

National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (1985): This was the most recent case study on Black Money and it accounted the country’s unaccounted wealth around Rs 36,786 crore comprising 17 per cent of the then economy. However, the committee’s recommendations also met the same fate of the earlier panels.

JPN/Bureau