People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 21

May 27, 2012

Whitewashing Black Money


The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) issued the following statement on May 22, 2012.


THE finance ministry’s white paper on black money, presented in parliament, reflects a trite exercise devoid of any political will. Neither has any credible estimate of black money stashed abroad been provided by the white paper nor any concrete measures suggested to retrieve the illicit funds.


The paper states that the total amount held in the Indian deposits of Swiss banks fell from Rs 23,373 crore in 2006 to Rs 9,295 in 2010. The government seems to have no clue as to where this amount has gone. There is no assessment of Indian deposits in other offshore financial centres. The paper suggests that much of illicit financial outflows are round-tripped into India through FDI via the Mauritius route or via FII investments through participatory notes. Yet there is no specific recommendation to ban participatory notes or to scrap the DTAA with Mauritius


The paper cites the Global Financial Integrity study which estimated the current value of illicit financial flows from India between 1948 and 2008 to be around 462 billion dollars (Rs 25 lakh crore approximately). The fact that these are not gross overestimates can be seen from the information provided by the white paper: over the last two financial years (2010-2012) alone the Directorate of Transfer Pricing has detected mispricing (such as over-invoicing and under-invoicing of imports and exports) to the tune of a whopping Rs 67,768 crore in 1,343 cases. Rs 48,951 crore have also been collected by the Directorate of International Taxation in just two years, between 2010 and 2012. It is clear that these amounts detected or collected over the past two years still comprise the tip of the iceberg. 


The white paper reveals that the amounts of undisclosed income of Indians, who figure in the lists of secret bank account holders received from the German and French governments respectively, are Rs 40 crore and Rs 565 crore only. These are minor parties. The Indian individuals and entities who are holding bulk of the illicit wealth in offshore accounts, are yet to be identified. The white paper disappointingly reiterates the myriad technical difficulties involved in retrieving these huge amounts stashed abroad.


The lack of progress in this direction raises doubts over the sincerity of the UPA government on this crucial issue. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands that a serious effort be made to quantify illicit funds stashed abroad by Indians and identify the culprits. Undisclosed assets of Indians located abroad should be confiscated by the government as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act.

DYFI to Fight against Neo-Liberal Policies, for Youth Empowerment


MEETING in Comrade Dinesh Majumdar Bhawan at Kolkata on May 22-23, 2012, the central executive committee (CEC) of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) reviewed the political situation at the national level and planned its political organisational activities to be undertaken in the coming days. The DYFI’s all-India president P Sreeramakrishnan, MLA, presided over the meeting.


While reviewing the political situation, the DYFI CEC took serious note of the situation arising due to continuous rises in the prices of essential commodities, rampant corruption, spiralling unemployment, agricultural distress and slowdown in industrial production. It noted that at present the food inflation is in double digits and vegetable prices have risen by 60 per cent in a year. New cases of corruption are surfacing every other day, and the menace continues unabated. Unemployment is rising, as the issue of more productive employment generation in a country having a large pool of young people is not being addressed. In the present situation of jobless and job-loss growth it has become extremely difficult for the job seeking youth to find adequate jobs. In agriculture the level of distress is such that farmers are unable to afford inputs or access credit. Suicides by farmers continue unabated.


Now, when the global economic crisis is affecting us too, as the finance minister himself has finally accepted, and the rupee fallen below the level of 55 against the dollar, the advocates and practitioners of neo-liberal policies and reforms are ready with the prescription of more ‘austerity measurers.’ But the Congress led UPA-2 government’s desperate call for austerity clearly means further cuts in the government’s social sector spending at the people’s cost. This is an attack on the aam aadmi, of whom the youth constitutes a substantial majority.


According to the press release issues by DYFI president P Sreeramakrishnan and general secretary Tapas Sinha after the CEC meeting, the latter also reviewed the political situation in West Bengal which has the largest contingent of democratic youth movement in the country, organised under the banner of the DYFI. The Trinamul government in the state recently completed one year in office. The Trinamul Congress (TMC) came to power in West Bengal by promising all democratic rights, but the Mamata Banerjee government’s one year rule has become synonymous with authoritarianism. There have been numerous instances where democratic rights of the people were attacked and snatched. This assault on democratic institutions and democracy in general is dangerous as it is aimed at demobilising any political opposition.


As far as the policy issues are concerned, the TMC is sharing power at the centre as an important constituent of the Congress led UPA government, and it is very much an accomplice to the neo-liberal policies which are being implemented. Nay more, the TMC led state government has no alternative vision or approach, as different from the policies of the UPA-2 government at the centre. The recent announcement made by the chief minister regarding three lakh new recruitments is false and not based on facts, and she has not provided any data to substantiate her claim. Moreover, there have been cases of re-employment, which once again proves the fact that there is no policy about seriously addressing the issue of more productive employment generation. In West Bengal, the DYFI would very much remain in the struggle for defending democracy, just as it is in the struggle of creation of new jobs and defence of existing jobs in the country.


The DYFI CEC also decided to launch a nationwide movement from June 15 to July 15, 2012 against the neo-liberal policies and struggle for youth empowerment, demanding jobs, health and education. After the campaign the youth would be mobilised for agitational activities at different levels throughout the country.




In its Kolkata meeting, DYFI CEC also planned and finalised the preparatory tasks for its ninth all-India conference that is scheduled to be held at Bengaluru from on September 11 to 15, 2012. In connection with this important organisational event, a reception committee has already been formed, and the slogan and logo of the conference have been released. 


A total of 800 delegates, representing DYFI members all over the country, will participate in the conference. A big youth rally will be held in Bengaluru on the opening day. Three youth jathas from Kerala, Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh will come to Bengaluru on this occasion. In the coming three months, all state committees would undertake various types of activities to campaign and popularise the slogan of the conference, ‘For A Better India, Empower Youth.’