Tax evasion troubles

From more effective deterrence to easing up on what even FM Arun Jaitley has called tax terrorism, structural reforms are needed to widen the tax base


Black money is an emotive issue—from the common man’s perspective, a case of the rich taking further advantage of a system geared towards them.

Little wonder it’s repeatedly been a part of political rhetoric over the past few years. But in practical terms, little has been done.

The Narendra Modi government’s anti-tax dodgers campaign—carried out over the past four months—is set to end this week with little to show. The exact shortfall is difficult to gauge because no target was declared publicly. But it’s likely to be in the region of thousands of crores of rupees.

This is no surprise. There have been multiple such campaigns prior to this one since the 1990s. None of them have been particularly effective.

Given the scope of the problem, such band-aids are bound to be ineffective. From more effective deterrence to easing up on what even finance minister Arun Jaitley has called tax terrorism, structural reforms are needed to widen the tax base.