Month: December 2011

Getting back black money

There is a debate on how to get back black money held abroad by Indians. Some want it to be declared a national asset. Some say it is red money acquired through crimes like drug trade. Some say there is more black money in India than abroad. The amount of black money is a conjecture. Some mention 25 lakh crore rupees. BJP blames Congress for not doing enough to get back black money and wants the names of 782 account holders given by France revealed. Congress blames BJP that it did nothing when it was in power. Some say getting money is more important than knowing names.

A person who has earned money legitimately should be free to keep it in bank in India or abroad. India allows Non-Resident External accounts. Trusts and NGOs can receive foreign money. Many foreign account holders have RBI permission which should not be a requisite for keeping money abroad. Getting money and knowing names are equally important and it is not an either or situation.

There is a simple way to get back black money held abroad. The finance minister of India should make a declaration. “We want rupee to equal American dollar in 50 days, euro in 70 days, British pound in 80 days, Kuwaiti dinar in 170 days and thereafter remain the strongest currency in the world. To achieve this we will sell one billion or more dollars per day. On Mondays we will sell two billion dollars or more.” This will scare people who have black money abroad and they will get back the money through various ways. With 300 billion dollars in foreign exchange reserves selling one billion dollars per day is not a problem. Petrol prices and inflation will come down.

The government may consider amnesty to people who have black money abroad like voluntary disclosure schemes for Income Tax evaders we had in the past.

Sunil Gavaskar loses

BCCI has refused to pay Sunil Gavaskar as per his demand. Sunil Gavaskar had claimed that Sharad Pawar and Arun Jaitley had assured him that his dues will be paid. After that a news report appeared that said BCCI has rejected Sunil Gavaskar’s claim. Sunil Gavaskar said his faith in BCCI was shaken but he had no communication from BCCI. Sunil Gavaskar was with IPL in 2007-2010. Lalit Modi came in defence of Sunil Gavaskar. He said BCCI wanted Sunil Gavaskar with IPL to rival Kapil Dev who was with ICL and therefore Sharad Pawar promised Sunil Gavaskar four crores per year.

It is not clear whether four crores is inclusive of one crore by cheque or separate. Sunil Gavaskar’s loss is nine crores or twelve crores. Sunil Gavaskar did not ask the amount in writing. He said he trusted the President. Other reasons could he did not want to pay tax on that amount and did not want M. A. K. Pataudi and Ravi Shastri to know about it.

Rajeev Shukla has said that there is nothing in AGM or working committee records to show that BCCI had agreed to pay additional amount to Sunil Gavaskar and therefore there will be no payment. There the matter rests.

Sunil Gavaskar should have got his dues cleared when he was with IPL and Sharad Pawar was President. Legally there is nothing he can do to get the amount. Sharad Pawar and Arun Jaitley have not made any statements about this episode. They could be guilty of attempt to abet tax evasion and generation of black money.

BCCI is reluctant to come under RTI. It has official dealings and unofficial dealings and RTI will expose its unofficial dealings. BCCI crushed ICL through all means, fair and foul. There is cricket fatigue in the country and future IPL seasons may not be a success. Kochi Tuskers team was out after one season. BCCI cancelled Nimbus telecast contract because Nimbus defaulted on payments.

Delhi as capital

Some people talk of 100 years of Delhi as India’s capital. Delhi has been India’s capital at different times since 1206 when Delhi Sultanate was established. After that the sultans ruled from different parts of Delhi. Allauddin Khilji built and ruled from Siri. Ghiyasuddin Tughlak built Tughlakabad. Mohammed Bin Tughlak built Jahanpanah. For some time he ruled from Daulatabad. Feroz Shah Tughlak built Ferozabad. In 1526 Babur founded the Mughal Empire. Humayun built Din Panah. Sher Shah Suri razed it and built Sher Shahi. Akbar made Agra the capital of Mughal Empire after ruling from Fatehpur Sikri from some years. Shah Jahan shifted the capital to Delhi. He built Shahjahanabad. After Aurangzeb’s death the Mughal Empire declined.

Calcutta was the capital of the British Empire in India. Simla was India’s summer capital from 1865 to 1939. On 12/12/1911 at Delhi Durbar George V announced the shifting of capital from Calcutta to Delhi. Notification was issued in January 1912 and construction of New Delhi began after that and was completed in 1931. In case of New Delhi it is 80 years as India’s capital.

The British Empire in India once included Mauritius, Singapore, Penang and parts of Ceylon. When Calcutta was the capital of India the British Empire was at its zenith. Aden was separated from India in 1932. Burma was separated from India in 1937. In 1947 Pakistan was separated from India and British rule came to an end in India. The British built New Delhi to rule India for ever. They wanted to rival the Mughals in splendour. They built a large Viceroy’s House which is now Rashtrapati Bhavan. Within 16 years of change of capital it was the end of the empire in India. The Statute of Westminster passed by British Parliament in 1931 made Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa independent countries. Thus 1931 was a turning point in the history of India and British Empire.

We can rightly say Delhi as capital of India since 1206 except for some breaks or for 80 years. Announcement of shifting of capital to Delhi does not make it capital on the same day.