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BW Businessworld

Target Black Money Within

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So the ‘black money abroad’ bogey is falling apart. As it should. It has eaten up a disproportionate share of the nation’s productive time on what is eight-year-old data stolen from HSBC Geneva. The list, submitted to the Supreme Court after much push and pull, has itself turned out to be a major embarrassment. The Special Investigation Team has noted that 289 of the 627 accounts had no money, while 122 names on the list had been repeated. In the absence of historical transaction details of these accounts, the one-off information is of little value. The list and the names serve no purpose except to give an opportunity to tax authorities to hound these alleged tax evaders.

Even so, it’s illogical to expect that these secret accounts would still have money after successive governments have pledged — at least publicly — for over 10 years that they are out to get them. Any sensible account holder would have found new ways to hide that money. And if the government is unable to persuade these ‘havens’ to part with any historical transaction details on these accounts, it’s a futile exercise anyway.

Instead, why not focus the government’s energy on what is within its jurisdiction? In our second cover story this issue, at a time when the nation is transfixed by black money abroad, BW examines the obvious black money boroughs within India. Read the recommendations on how to handle them, starting on page 46.

The BW B-school survey in your hands is our biggest yet, with 166 institutes ranked (a few more opted to withdraw while a couple sent in applications after the survey was closed). That’s an addition of 40-odd institutes to last year’s tally. This year’s survey is more robust than ever as it incorporates a perceptual ranking over and above the objective ranking.

From the B-school package, I would like to draw your attention to the fascinating debate (page 86) between some of India’s biggest educationists and employers on whether humanities schools are taking the attention away from B-schools. Also, don’t miss the columns by Vedanta Group chairman Anil Agarwal on skilling, Reliance Foundation chairperson Nita M. Ambani on education for Gen-next and Glenmark managing director Glenn Saldanha on life at the workplace. This bumper issue was anchored by my colleagues Chitra Narayanan and Rozelle Laha.

The issue also has a package on India’s Most Competitive Cities, in association with the Institute for Competitiveness. Delhi tops the list yet again, followed by Mumbai. Gurgaon has upstaged Chennai to the No. 3 spot this year. This is our seventh edition of the annual survey.

In line with our commitment to keep you ahead of the curve with our innovative offerings, I am delighted to announce that BW  is the first magazine in India to introduce augmented reality on its pages through Blippar. Download Blippar, scan any of our blippable pages (marked by the adjacent mnemonic)  and go right into an interview or a story of your choice without feeding in the URLs. It’s a first. We promise you, there’s more on the way.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 01-12-2014)


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