Will India be a Golden Bird again?
As is well known, India was referred to as the “Golden Bird” in ancient times because its citizens were more enlightened in terms of coordination and cooperation, worked with great enthusiasm and integrity in order to share the rewards of their labour with everyone, and were not preoccupied with their income relative to others. They concentrated on the general welfare of the country. So, it was possible to forecast at the time that our nation will soon have one of the largest economies in the world and rank first among industrialised nations, but sadly, that didn’t happen.
Every industry in our nation creates and utilises black money to maintain its existence in the market, society, etc. Real estate, the financial sector, the gold and jewellery market, nonprofit organisations, international trade, and so on are all included. Due to the Demonstration Effect, or living one’s life by considering other people’s perspectives or livelihoods, black money continues to exist in India. People in India are greatly influenced by the socially significant high status individuals’ lifestyles and aspire to live similar lives. They aim to make money in whatever way possible for this. As a result, in order to satisfy these cravings or to uphold their social status they start generating black money.
Since 2016, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has printed a total of 6,849 crore 500- and 2000-rupee notes, according to its annual reports from 2016–17 to the most recent 2021–22. Over 1,680 crore of their currency notes are absent from circulation. These missing notes have a 9.21 lakh crore rupee value. These missing notes do not contain any damaged notes that the RBI later destroyed.
Any amount for which tax has not been paid is regarded as black money under the law. Savings that have been put in people’s houses can also be included in this Rs.9.21 lakh crores. However, more than 95% of the black money seized was in the form of Rs. 500 and Rs. 2000 notes, from searches on perfume retailers during the Uttar Pradesh elections to more recent searches by individuals linked to West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee. On the condition of anonymity, RBI officials also acknowledged that although a significant portion of the money missing from circulation may not be formally categorised as black money, the concern is that it is. It is important to mention here that The central government anticipated finding at least Rs 3–4 lakh crore of hidden black money in the houses of the corrupt when it implemented demonetisation in 2016, but, only 1.3 lakh crores of black money were extracted from the entire operation.
Officials believe that big denomination notes, such as those with denominations of 500 and 2000, are the most frequently used for black money deposits. Perhaps this is the cause of the 2000 note printing ban that took effect in 2019. But compared to 2016, the amount of new 500-denomination notes printed has surged by 76%. A 2018 analysis on Indians’ hidden assets deposited in Swiss banks raises the idea that the $9.21 lakh crore missing from circulation is black money in this situation. This study claims that 300 lakh crores in black money is held by Indians in Swiss banks. A mere 3% of this sum is approximately 9 lakh crores of rupees.
Since corruption hinders the country’s ability to develop economically and fulfil its developmental objectives, it is a severe economic problem. It encourages inefficient resource use, skews markets, jeopardises quality, devastates the environment, and recently has turned into a severe threat to national security. It worsens the plight of the less powerful sectors of the economy and the impoverished. So, it becomes imperative for the Indian government to put a leash on black money, if they want to turn the country again as “ Golden Bird.”