Black money snippets
Kolkata trails only two metros — Delhi and Mumbai — on the roll of infamy. If all the black money in Kolkata were mopped up, it would write off half the state’s debts, say officials. A mere 10 income tax raids in Kolkata have yielded a whopping 800 crore of black money in voluntary disclosures, say sources. It’s an indicator of how much hidden money there is in the state. I-T sources peg it at 80,000 crore, almost 40% of the state’s gross domestic product. “It is enough to pay almost 50% of the total debt of the government,” an official said. Bengal has the highest ratio of black to white money in the country. “It’s the tip of the iceberg. The admitted black money during a raid is usually 10-15% of what a firm or a person actually has. A figure of about 800 crore means the total black money in those cases could be 8,000 crore,” a tax official said. Kolkata accounts for almost 90% of the black money seized in the eastern region in the last two years. In the last six months alone, 786 crore has been unearthed in the city whereas the total amount of black money recovered in the east (excluding Bihar and Chhattisgarh) adds up to 891 crore (up from 866 crore last fiscal). Director general of income tax (investigation) T Rozara confirmed the voluntary disclosure figures but refused to give details. However, sources said the voluntary disclosure figure was 1,733 crore for Delhi and 1,441 crore for Mumbai in 2009-10. The figure was 559 crore, 252 crore and 264 crore for Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, respectively. Ahmedabad was slightly ahead at 566 crore. “This year, the figures in these cities will be slightly higher but Kolkata will still be third,” an IT official said.