PM calls for creating environment to bring black money

Cannes: As his government faced flak over the black money issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday called for creating an environment where Indian nationals who have stashed illegal money abroad can bring back the funds.

Singh said India is land of opportunities and it was no longer necessary for people with surplus money to seek "greener pastures" abroad. "We have to create an environment in which our people will themselves have an incentive to bring back this money back home. India is a land of opportunities and it is no longer necessary for people with surplus money to go to greener pastures outside," he said.

Singh said this is the only long term way to discourage flow of money to foreign havens. He was replying to a question at a news conference on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in this French coastal resort as to how long the government will take to bring back the black money stashed in tax havens.

Prefacing his reply with "I am no astrologer", Singh said India is dealing with sovereign countries and they could only decide to what extent they can cooperate with India. "We are trying to negotiate agreements on tax information exchange with more and more countries. This is a motion in progress," Singh said.

Singh said he really did not know what is the magnitude of the "so called black money" and whether India had a foolproof mechanism to ensure that we can get back the black money in a short period
of time.