Opinion

Which is India’s Biggest Scam that People are Not Aware of?!

“Do you need a bill?” asked the shopkeeper. I said “yes”. “You will be charged additional 12% VAT on it!” he said. Then I said “no, slip is fine for me” and left the shop.
After returning home, I just calculated how much would I have paid! It was coming somewhere between 2 – 3 rupees. That means I just missed one good chocolate or lost an opportunity to weigh my weight at the max! But if I had insisted to give the bill, then the whole transaction would have been accounted and hence government could have collected some tax out of it. The shopkeeper would also have paid an additional income tax over and above the VAT which he was emphasizing! That means, his good gesture of saving my money from paying tax is simply a mockery. More than what he saved for me, he is saving a bigger amount from his pocket that would be going to the government.
Whenever someone asks the question “who is corrupt?”, we start thinking about some politicians or some bureaucrats or some unethical big industrialists who have made money by breaking the heads of others. But we do not introspect ourselves. Almost every individual is involved in this corruption. Because every un-billed transaction is unaccounted.
A crude calculation shows that every citizen of this country has been involved in a scam that is much bigger than any of the scams till date. On an average the amount transacted in a shop is around 5000. The number of shops in a town is around 8,000. Total number of towns in India according to Census 2011 is 7,935. It does not include urban agglomeration and out growths. If they are also counted, then the total number will be 9391.
Considering the economic growth in last two years, these numbers would be very less than the actual numbers. Irrespective of that, the total unaccounted transaction per day in the whole country would be Rs. 31,740 crore. Now use your own calculators to find out how much would it become per month and per year!
If everyone of us take the bill after every transaction and all the black money within the domestic market is brought into book. We have been talking about black money stashed in tax haven countries. But we have not been able to flush out black money from our own economy.

Many more steps like changing the colour of currency notes at regular intervals, promoting more and more plastic money and electronic transactions etc. would also have to be taken by the government. Even before that, if every individual joins hands and takes a simple step of taking the bill, then probably country will not need any external debt and ‘probably’ everyone’s account can be credited with Rs. 15,00,000 or equivalent benefit can be availed to the people through government programs or other infrastructural development. So, here onwards, will you take the bill!?


 Akshara Damle
You can reach the author on twitter @aksharadamle
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