Govt. tables White Paper on Black money; BJP criticizes
In order to check criticism of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government over Black Money stashed in foreign banks, government today tabled much-awaited White paper on black money but it disappointed the opposition as the name was still undisclosed.
However, that white paper paved the way of setting up Lokpal and Lokayuktas to deal with the menace, sources says as the experts believe.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today tabled a White Paper in Lok Sabha containing various issues pertaining to eradicate graft including setting up fast track courts and encouraging people for using more and more debit and credit cards.
The White Paper has no name relating to Black money but it quoted various estimates of other agencies on the issue.
There were some suggestions of tax incentives for encouraging use of debit and credit cards as these leave audit trails.
Regarding setting up 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 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the other hand has expressed its disappointment with the 'White Paper' saying it did not include crucial information such as names of individuals and action taken in retrieving the funds stashed in foreign banks.
Criticizing it, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi rued that the Central Government had not fully realised the negative impact of black money on the Indian economy.
"I feel that this was a black paper and not a white paper on black money presented by the government. It is a black paper on black money. It is unfortunate that the government is not understanding the gravity of the situation and not taking the matter seriously. People of India are worried about the flow of money out of the country," said Joshi.
"I do not understand what the government is worried about? Moreover, it is said that the government would only announce the names of those individuals who are facing trial over black money. So, has no one faced trial on black money till now? Or maybe the government does not have the will to prosecute any individual over black money?" he asked.
Joshi further urged the government to present a strong 'White Paper' on the issue at the earliest.
"There is mass campaign against black money in India at present. Moreover, at a time when the economy is facing turbulence due to this, the government must remain alert on the issue. It must fulfill the peoples' expectations. We would appreciate if the government brings out a credible white paper on the issue of black money soon," he said.
Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu echoed similar sentiments on the issue, and termed the 'White Paper' on black money to be extremely disappointing.
"It is totally disappointing. The information that was expected from the government about the quantum of money, the names of persons, and the action taken to recover the money, none of these have found place in the white paper. Then what is it? It is an empty paper, it has no information and it is totally disappointing," he said.
--With Agencies Inputs--
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