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The Long and Strong Hand of the Chowkidar


The UK Home Secretary’s decision to allow the extradition of Vijay Mallya has once again demonstrated the Modi government’s resolve on bringing high profile economic offenders to book. In the ongoing drive against big ticket corruption since he came to power, Mr Modi has rightfully taken on the mantle of the chowkidar of the country.

The Pursuit of Vijay Mallya
  • Vijay Mallya has been accused of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering offences in relation to loans now worth Rs 10,000 crore that he took out from a consortium of state-owned Indian banks to prop up his failing Kingfisher Airlines.
  • Vijay Mallya became the first tycoon to be charged under a new anti-fraud law, with a court in Mumbai today naming him as an offender under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.
  • Modi govt had first handed over the extradition request to the British High Commission two years earlier.
  • Having successfully obtained a freeze order on Mallya’s worldwide assets up to the value of Rs 10,421 crore, a consortium of 13 Indian banks are also bringing bankruptcy proceedings against Mallya.
The Numbers Speak for Themselves
  • Black Money: Anti-black money measures brought undisclosed income of about Rs 3 Lakh Crore to tax.
  • Swiss Banks: There is a 80% drop in deposits since the Modi government came to power. According to latest media reports, Switzerland is set to share details of Indian account holders in HSBC (Suisse).
  • IBC Code: Since the IBC, in 66 resolution cases, realization by creditors was around Rs. 80,000 crores. As per NCLT database, in 4452 cases disposed at pre-admission stage, the amount apparently settled was around Rs 2.02 lakh crores.
  • Fake Currency: According to the RBI, compared to 2017, there was an increase of 35 per cent in counterfeit notes detected in the denomination of Rs 100, while there was a noticeable increase of 154.3 per cent in counterfeit notes detected in the denomination of Rs 50. Detection of fake Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes decreased by 59.7 and 6 per cent respectively after demonetisation
  • Benami Transactions: Benami assets worth Rs 6,900 crore and foreign assets worth Rs 1,600 crore have been attached.
  • Shell companies: In 2017-18, the corporate affairs ministry shut down 226,000 shell companies that had not filed tax returns or financial statements for a period of at least two years. By latest figures, as many as 3,38,000 shell companies have been detected and de-registered, and their directors disqualified.
  • Tax Buoyancy: Since demonetisation, direct tax buoyancy has more than doubled from 0.6 times in FY16 to 1.3 times in FY17 and 7 times in FY18
  • Rise in Number of Tax payers: An 80% growth in the total number of IT returns filed in the last 4 financial years, i.e., from 3.79 Crore in FY 2013-14 to 6.85 Crore in FY 2017-18.

Apart from the figures that demonstrate the achievements so far, there are many legislative and administrative measures that the Modi government has undertaken in order to rein in the economic offenders and bring transparency in the system. For instance, the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act has been passed in order to bring to book the defaulters who flee the country. The attempt to build global consensus by the PM at the G20 Summit is another sincere endeavour in that regard. Therefore, the near-successful pursuit of Vijay Mallya is just the beginning with many more to follow soon. This clearly establishes Narendra Modi as the chief chowkidar of this country who never really sleeps.