The issue of possession of wealth conspicuously disproportionate to income, particularly by many resorting to unlawful means which figured in the columns of dailies for a while in recent past triggering people at large to talk excitedly and anticipate measures to channelise the booty for the benefit of society seems to have got sidelined amidst other events in public domain across the country involving the offending individuals in public life as well as the land’s administration and the corporate sector. The ongoing raids on the premises of the high and the mighty in the country’s political world by Enforcement Directorate (ED) staff followed by incarceration of some of them has given a dramatic twist to the Government’s battle against black money. In the meanwhile, cash stashed by Indians yet to be identified for the sake of information to the public, in banks abroad, such as the Swiss Banks which maintain accounts of their customers said to be with numbers has faded from public memory. Readers of dailies had to be content raising their eyebrows on how the amount of tainted money estimated in astronomical proportions moved out of the country without the knowledge of the Government.
India’s lay people may not have heard the expression money laundering until media started flashing reports with graphic details including names of society’s prominent individuals charged with indulging in the offending act amounting to fraud. No small surprise if the spurt in Government’s dramatic action to contain the unrelenting offenders tapers off in days ahead.
All is not well with the country’s economic health, particularly the flow of cash into the treasury having believed the expectation of the top brass in the Finance Ministry, leading to heightened activity of the ED founded in 1956, the nation’s law enforcement and economic intelligence agency ostensibly to fight economic crime in the country, including money laundering. For the benefit of the uninformed sections of society, money laundering is the illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained unlawfully by passing cash through a complex sequence of bank transfers or commercial transactions, ultimately the amount of money returning to the launderer in an obscure way; without raising the suspicion of law enforcement agencies.
Black money at the command of the well-marked anti-national outfits daring the Government clandestinely funding disruptive activities across the country requires to be addressed on a war-footing. People’s inputs into the working of the Government’s functionaries battling black money need to be marshalled ingeniously.