Following are the highlights of the speech by Sri S Gurumurthy delivered on 21st May, 2011 at the Keshava Krupa auditorium. The topic of the speech was ‘Political corruption and Indian Black money abroad’. Prof. Vaidyanathan of IIMB was also present at the occasion.
Sri Gurumurthy’s talks was divided into different topics.
Status of Black money abroad:
- During 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Jairam Ramesh, refused to even acknowledge the presence of Black money abroad and rubbished all claims by Individuals and various other leaders as ‘mostly bogus sources’.
- The German govt was willing to give the details of the secret account in Liechtenstein to GOI. However, the GOI never requested such information ever and continously denied presence of any such ‘Black’ money. But then Global Financial Integrity, a Public Policy Think Tank in Washington DC, researched and reported that an estimated $462 billion of India’s illicit assets were held abroad. 67% of this amount was stashed in last 18 years, i.e after liberalization. (Report on Indian unaccounted money abroad – http://india.gfip.org/)
- In 1986, Sri Gurumurthy along with Mr.Vinod Pande and Mr. Bhure Lal started a anti-corruption campaign. Their work in this regard revealed that close to $300 billion of Indian money was stashed away in swiss banks. However a forged letter was planted to discredit Sri Gurumurthy for availing the services of a US detective agency, Fairfax. Sri Gurumurthy was arrested on the count that he was trying to get details of Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Amitabh Bachchan and the anti-corruption movement came to a halt.(http://www.cscsarchive.org:8081/MediaArchive/audience.nsf/(docid)/3BE4371E8803F741652569400062C30D – Arrest of Gurumurthy and related news)
- Sri Gurumurthy said that the present anti-corruption movement is hijacked by the GOI itself with the blessings of Sonia Gandhi, so it will not succeed. A anti-corruption movement has to be against the govt and not anybody else. The opposition has to take the lead in such a movement, which is not a case currently.
Black Money and Tax Havens and western interests:
- There are 70 tax havens in the world today. 8 Lakh 23 Thousand comapnies are registered in the British Virgin Islands. In the 1980’s the Western countries encouraged the third world countries to stash money in tax havens as they could earn profit out of it. Later politicians, criminals took advantage of it.
- Black money outside is as good as treason. The money stashed abroad could be used against the country itself and so amounts to treason. Whereas money that is parked in India itself, though illegal, will still be used within the country for various purposes.
- Black money is not an issue with the west, as for them they are fine collecting the taxes on it. India has to get the black money back.
- Stock market capital in 1997 was $20 billion, in 2009 it was $48 billion. But net worth of rich individuals was $3 trillion in 97, in 2009 it rose to $33 trillion. America borrows money from rest of the world so that they can spend!!! Housing debt of Americans is about $10.3 trillion. Alan Greenspan said saving money is in the interest of America but the American economy became a debt economy through credits and loans.
Cause of black money:
- In 1967, it was estimated that 10% of India’s GPD was black money. In 2009 it was 50% of the country’s GDP!
- Corruption, bribes, kickbacks, criminal acts, etc raise the black money.
- AG Noorani wrote in the ‘Statesman'(December 31, 1988), on how Rajiv Gandhi expressed deep gratitude to KGB for the benefits accruing to the Prime Minister’s family from the commercial dealings of the firm he controls in co-operation with the Soviet foreign trade organisations. (Rajiv Gandhi’s secret letters – http://defenceforumindia.com/political-%7C-social/18347-rajiv-gandhis-one-swiss-bank-account-has-%24-2-2-billion-%24-11-billion.html – Read the ‘KGB Papers’ section)
- Subramanium Swamy wrote to the swiss magazine,Schweizer Illustrierte, to confirm the publication of the article mentioning Rajiv Gandhi as holder of $2.2 Billion in swiss bank account (Scanned copy of the article ->http://goo.gl/0mJrr). The magazine confirmed the article (here -> http://www.janataparty.org/annexures/ann10p43.html), but the GOI did not act on this information for obvious reasons.
Hasan Ali case:
- Hasan Ali is protected by the people in power currently at the centre. Ali’s swiss bank accounts were not frozen despite the proof of his holdings.
- A sting on him by Ashok Deshbhratar, an DCP who was probing the case, exposed Ali. Ashok was forced to do the sting as Hasan Ali never revealed anything during official interrogation. However, Deshbhratar was suspended (Cop who conducted ‘sting operation’ on Hasan Ali faces suspension -> http://goo.gl/lIa0w) for the ‘unofficial’ sting. Deshbhratar today is forced to go on indefinite leave. However, Ashok Deshbhratar filed an affidavit in the SC mentioning the sting operation and its details.
- Sri Gurumurthy read out a portion of Ashok Deshbhratar’s affidavit in the SC at the lecture.
- Sonia Gandhi protected Ali by changing the Mumbai police commissioner and derailed the process of investigation.
- The opposition is not targeting Sonia Gandhi as they claim they do not have sufficient proofs. The session concluded by Sri Gurumurthy requesting the public, right thinking individuals, intellectuals to put pressure on the opposition to question Sonia Gandhi and ask GOI to get the black money back.
The lecture was followed by a short 15mins Q&A session. The day ended with a soulful rendition of ‘Vande Mataram’ by a Swayamsevak.