New Delhi: Everyone seems to be groping in the darkness regarding the quantum of black money stashed away abroad. The government has so far maintained that there are no reliable estimates of black money generated and deposited within and outside the country respectively, nor any concrete measure to identity the sources of ill-gotten wealth. If the claims made by government and non-government body are anything to go by, it gets apparent that none has the clear picture in the context of unaccounted wealth stashed in the tax havens.

Government: The Finance Ministry recently accepted that there are no authentic figures about the black money. However, it said that the quantum of black money ranges between USD 500 to 1500 billion going by different estimates.

Baba Ramdev: Taking a dig on the government over black money issue, yoga guru Baba Ramdev has repeatedly been saying that Rs 400 lakh crore has been stashed away in tax havens and pressing demand for bringing it back home.

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BJP: Before the general elections in 2009, L K Advani had pledged that if his party came into power, they will bring Rs 25 lakh crore of ill-gotten wealth deposited in foreign banks back to the country. BJP President Nitin Gadkari has recently spoken about the same figures again.

GFT: A study by the Global Financial Integrity Group has estimated the outflow of illicit cash between 1947 and 2008 stands at about $462 billion.

NIPFP: The figures on black money revealed by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy seem to be genuine to some extent. NIPFP had put the black money amount at Rs 36,748 crore back in 83-84. Thereafter, the Indian economy has grown 31 times (Rs 62,32,171 crore in 2009-10).

The first concrete figures were given by Vanchu committee way back in 1975. In its report, the committee had said that Rs 7,000 crore of black money is present within the country.

JPN/Neelu Ranjan