By- Priyankan Goswami
There are various estimates being done on how much money is stashed away secretly by Indians in Swiss Banks. Some say it is 1450 billion dollars equivalent to around 65,785,630,000,000 Indian Rupees. Some say, it is even more. There are 40 more Tax haven countries similar to Switzerland and no one is even guessing the number of zeroes in the amount of black money that could be hidden by Indians in those countries.
The call to bring back the Money to Indians is on. Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev to the modern kid who has learnt to like Facebook is all echoing the same thing, – bring back our money! The ruling party and the opposition, the bureaucrats and capitalists, all of them combined who runs the Indian nation to make the rich richer and poor poorer are against it though. Different reasons, excuses and tactics to divert attention are being used to keep the amount safe and hidden in the Swiss Banks.
Whether or not the huge sum of money is brought back, the dreamers, visionaries and optimists all alike are campaigning already how this money would help India and Indians to become the country of our dreams. True, if this huge money can be somehow brought back it will do miracles. The entire foreign debt can be paid back in a day’s time, poverty can be eradicated, better schools and high end hospitals, bullet trains and air connectivity, everything that is a dream now can probably be nurtured.
Let us now stop dreaming for a while and come back to the realization that we live in the same India.
Time and again, it has been proved that the current nature of democracy and system of the Indian state machine favour the rich more than the poor. We have more than 40% of the population living below the global poverty line, more than 70% lives on an earning of less than 20 rupee per day and yet 0.012% of total population of India possesses investible wealth worth one third of India’s Gross National Income. This means the remaining 99.88% population possess two-third of the GNI. There is clearly a parallel economy in the country which has led to unseen parallel governance in the country, ruled and manipulated by the Capitalist class of India.
So when the huge amount would be brought back, whom would the amount mainly serve? Who will run the show, ensuring proper utilization of these funds is a question that needs to be asked. There is little trust on the current political system based on caste, creed, power and money to manage the funds in a fair manner.
There is a good chance that most of the funds will be used in developing of corporates, industries and sectors at the cost of the poor and the needy. Investments on mega dams for power, SEZs for industrial development, mines which would relocate ethnic people will grow in numbers. The Government would in all likelihood push aggressively these development activities. Staggered resistance from locals who are divided across borders, languages, tribes, castes and creeds will be of little use.
Another concern here is how would this lead to inflation, rising costs of commodities and cost of living? With huge money pumped into everywhere in the country and knowing the way our capitalist and business class works, it is inevitable that prices of a lot of commodities would actually get higher. Whether it is milk or petrol, eggs or pulses, every sector would try to catch on the investments made all over and go through a fair increase in prices.
Most importantly, with the huge amount of money now in India’s pocket, the value of rupee and dollar would change. Price of dollars will decrease and one can imagine the extent to how India’s booming IT sector would suffer. The IT, ITES and BPOs of India majorly depends on the dollars for their living. There are also lakhs of small scale freelancers, a small scale industry who provide services as outsourcers or merchants and depends on the dollar for their bread and butter. With the dollar value down to a big extent, their profits would no longer be enough to call them profits in the first place. As such the big IT industry here stands at a clear risk. This risk needs to be assessed, the severity levels analyzed and the risk needs to be mitigated well in advance. The Indians who are known to be reactive rather than being proactive must be prepared with alternatives and better plans.
There is no denying that we NEED this huge black money recovered for our country’s good, but one must be prepared with the negatives of this aspect too. Unfortunately, most of the intellectuals, media houses (most of them puppets of the Indian rulers) are not even thinking about the negative sides and we are again heading towards a reactive approach, which is risky and dangerous. Probably we are sure that this money can never recovered and the dream will be dead soon.