Last week in my hometown, Kolkata, while spending time with family and friends we were having a lot of interesting discussions on a variety of topics. Courtesy Anna Hazare, the obvious topic to pop up is Corruption in India. People were sharing their own thoughts on the dreaded issue and venting out their frustration. One common thought was that the corrupt in India are looting billions of tax-payers money and stacking in their Swiss bank account. Even the most educated have the same impression and expressed their hope that if GoI is able to bring that money back to India - there won't be any poor.
Further, think of our market - it is not at all difficult to get around 12%-15% return even if you invest on mutual funds. If you are an expert player in Real estates and equities - you can reap returns around 25% without much pain.Since 1990 till date, Indian stock market has returned about 17% to investors on an average in terms of increase in share prices or capital appreciation annually.
Hence, my impression is that whatever black money the corrupt individuals are pocketing - are again being reinvested in our markets only - THE MONEY NEVER WENT OUT OF INDIA. Do you think it is difficult without coming under the scanner of Income Tax department? Even a person of medium intelligence can do it without much pain. Just split the money into several small parts (each less than 10 lacs - so that you don't come under IT scanner) and after several transactions from one bank account to another, even the God won't know whose money it is!
So, the obvious question is - Why people have the impression that the corrupt have stacked their money at Swiss Bank? Most obvious response would be to deceive common people. Those with vested interest in the black economy want to divert attention of the people - they know nothing is there in the Swiss banks. Even if GoI is able to persuade Swiss Govt to handover a list of Indian account holders - most of them would be legitimate account holders and not corrupt businessmen or politicians.
The way out? Need to work on that - it is not easy given India is such a big country and millions of people transacting everyday. It is practically impossible to track each and every transaction - so, we have to wait until that technology and infrastructure come. Definitely there are hopes the way technology is progressing every year.