Prime Minister Modi Looks to Make Good on Campaign Pledge to Tackle “The Black Economy” in India

By Sam Willie

Bloomberg covers a much-anticipated move by India’s Prime Minister to crack down on “the Black Economy” in India through new legislation that will hit individuals who stash unreported assets in offshore accounts with big fines and even jail time. The legislation is in tune with a theme that was central to Prime Minister Modi’s election campaign: curtailing widespread tax avoidance schemes and corruption that cheats the country of tax revenue. Recently there have been similar efforts in the U.S. and the UK to solve this issue, though India’s proposed legislation appears to take a particularly tough stance, with punishment including up to 10 years in jail and as much as 300 percent fines on amounts originally owed. It has been reported that India’s unreported foreign asset problem could total as much as $2 trillion, which is more than the country’s annual gross domestic product.