Former Director of Infosys T V Mohandas Pai today said the Narendra Modi government’s strategy to unearth black money is a ‘joke’. Here we list the top 10 noteworthy points Mohandas Pai, currently chairman of Manipal Global Education Services (he was a member of the Kelkar Committee on reforming direct taxes), said about black money in India and why he considers government’s efforts to crack down on it a ‘joke’:
1. Calling it (not having an effective strategy to unearth black money) a ‘big failure’ of the Narendra Modi government, Mohandas Pai said better intelligence and prosecution are needed to achieve the objective as the present law is ‘unworkable’, Mohandas Pai said.
2. “Tax terrorism has not come to an end in the country even though Finance Minister Arun Jaitley continues to say that it’s stopping,” Mohandas Pai said.
3. “The whole black money strategy has been a joke. The law (to unearth black money) is badly drafted and it is unworkable. Nobody will pay 60 per cent tax to stay in this country. And secondly, your black money action should be based on better policy and better intelligence,” Mohandas Pai said.
4. “It (the government) does not have super intelligence yet. It does not have superior prosecution capabilities, and unless they get better intelligence, they are able to prosecute better, they set up fast track courts, things are not going to work,” Mohandas Pai said.
5. “Black money is not waiting in foreign banks for you to go and get information and do. There are sophisticated structures; government should find out what these structures are, who is doing it and how it’s being done,” Mohandas Pai said.
6. “There is a lot of corruption in the ports. They must set up special investigation teams, appoint special prosecutors, build up capacity, add special courts, try them (offenders) and put them in jail within six months…not five years or ten years. If you don’t do that, nothing will work,” Mohandas Pai said.
7. “It (tax terrorism) is still continuing at the grass-roots level. (Tax) disputes have gone up to unprecedented levels. They (the government) have to clean up the whole system; and that (tax terrorism) is stopping investments,” Mohandas Pai said.
8. Speaking on areas where the Government has not “done well” during 18-months in office, Mohandas Pai said it should work very closely with States because it’s where the action is; not at the Centre. “The Centre passes a policy and the States have to implement it…many of the States have become laggards,” he said.
9. “There should not be reservation anywhere and it should be on merit. There is nothing wrong if socially disadvantaged sections…if they get good education… they will do very well. We have tried to experiment in Bengaluru five-six years ago, it worked beautifully,” Mohandas Pai said.
10. “Reservation for the private sector is a bad idea. It’s a concept by failed politicians. Because they have failed in their work they want to make others suffer. That’s a bad concept,” Mohandas Pai said.
Infosys share price on NSE at 3.30 pm was Rs 1,036.40, down -13.60 points(-1.30%).