A majority of respondents in a survey want the government to make “mandatory linking of all property ownerships with Aadhaar” and “mandatory disclosure of all assets of all ministers and government employees and their direct families” as a way forward to curb black money.
The recommendation from people about disclosures applies not just to Central Government and Public Sector Undertakings but also to all State Government Ministers and Employees and their direct families.
One of the key issues identified by people continues to be the usage of shell companies by public officials to accept bribes.
Citizens have listed how family members of corrupt public officials are listed as directors in these shell companies and graft is received as share capital at a high premium. The money received is then utilised by the promoters of the company to pay salaries to themselves or fake employees on the payrolls.
Citizens on the LocalCircles platform pointed to various areas where illegal economic activities are rampant. On a question in the survey asked, “What should be the one move that the Government should implement immediately to further reduce black money in India?”, 15,492 voters responded. Of which, 33 per cent said “make linking of all property ownerships with Aadhaar mandatory”, 38 per cent said “mandatory disclosure of all assets of all ministries and government employees and their direct families”, 10 per cent said “demonetise INR 2,000 rupee note immediately”, 7 per cent said “levy 2 per cent transaction tax on all cash transactions above Rs 10,000”, and 5 per cent each voted for “detailed scrutiny of all individual with a Swiss Bank account” and “other things”, while 2 per cent said “can’t say”.
When compared with last year’s survey, this year’s results show that buying “groceries” and giving out “salaries to domestic staff” continue to be the top categories where citizens transacted in cash and didn’t produce a receipt in the last 12 months.
These are mainly low-value transactions that people don’t ask for receipts or salary slips.
LocalCircles conducted a survey to understand citizens’ purchasing habits with and without a money receipt, and the purpose of that transaction? It then compared this year’s findings with a similar survey released in 2019 to understand the trend among citizens transacting in cash without receipt in the last 12 months? Further, it highlights areas where black money is still getting generated in India. The survey received over 45,000 responses from more than 300 districts of India. Of which, 51 per cent respondents were from tier 1, 34 per cent from tier 2, and 15 per cent from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
After comparing the finding with similar survey results of 2019, 14 per cent of citizens in 2020 reported saying, “50-100 per cent” of their monthly purchases on average were without a receipt, from 27 per cent in 2019. This shows that there has been a 50 per cent reduction in the number of citizens who do the majority of their monthly purchases without receipt in 2020.
However, four years later, the biggest beneficiaries of demonetisation seems to be faster adoption of digital payments and digital transactions by Indian citizens.