Black money trail: 'India drained of Rs 20 lakh crore during 1948-2008'

Taj Mahal, Agra, India.Image via Wikipedia
In a season of swindles, kickbacks and scams, here is some more on the mother of them all. Black money — the popular moniker given to the billions seeded by dirty deals and whisked away abroad from the taxman's prying eyes — has received much attention in recent years.

The opposition never tires of screaming foul at the government. The government, for its part, is at pains to say it is doing all it can to track down the illegal stash.

Despite the cacophony, an estimate of the scads of black money in secret bank vaults overseas has long been one big unknown, resulting in a great deal of speculation and glib talk around the subject.

Finally, some help is at hand. A new study by an international watchdog on the illicit flight of money from the country, perhaps the first ever attempt at shedding light on a subject steeped in secrecy, concludes that India has been drained of $462 billion (Rs 20,556,848,000,000 or over Rs 20 lakh crore) between 1948 and 2008.

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