The controversial black & white economy

Zia Uddin Mahmud

13 July, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The most common debate in pre and post budgetary dialogue of Bangladesh is regarding giving privilege to whitening the black money. The debate is mainly for the question of morality as well as discrimination in giving equal opportunity to the citizen of the country. The black money holders sees the opportunity as blessing, on the other hand the civilized citizens who earn legally sees it as a curse for the economy as a whole. Though the number of people in the last group is obviously more than the former group but the former group wins the battle even after different strong logics. But why all the government in each year continues favoring the black money holders despite understanding the ultimate negative effects of the society? And whether the society as a whole is really benefited with the opportunity or not?

The main concentration of the article is black and white nature of the money and obviously money is the measurement of any economy. As both the black and white money is rolling in the economy, so, I have termed the economy as black & white. We know, more or less, what is black money and what is white money? Very simply, when you earn money legally and disclose it to the government’s respective agencies spontaneously, your money is white. On the contrary, when you earn money from illegal sources through criminal activities (e.g. smuggling, loot, kidnapping, money laundering, bribe, gambling, dowry or any other criminal offences) or legal sources through fair means but keep undisclosed (e.g. hiding some income that earned from legal sources and are not taxed properly, selling land or building by hiding the actual selling price, taking loan from bank and divert to undisclosed sources etc.) to the government respective agencies, your money turns into black.

Money earns from legal sources but undisclosed to the government agencies is also termed as grey money as the sources of the money are not extremely stained like money earns from illegal sources. There is no economy in the world where there is no black money but no laws of any country indulge in generating black money from different sources. Bangladesh is not out of this nature. But, it becomes tension for a nation when the magnitude of black money is high in an economy. Black money creates a shadow economy outside the real economy.

Canada, Malaysia, UK, Australia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and many other countries allows different investment opportunities for the migrants to get residency or citizenship of those countries. According to the ministry of tourism, arts and culture Malaysia (Motac), a number of 4,018 Bangladeshis have taken the scheme of Malaysian’s long term residential program the facility from 2002 through June 2018. The most talked “Begum Para” in Canada is well known where different Bangladeshis are migrated and build residency mostly by money laundering.

So, the negative effect of black money will ultimately increase by the opportunity of whitening the black money. Bangladesh has been experiencing with these effects which is a matter of concern. The controversy will not stop until stopping the sources of black money, stopping the opportunities for black money earners as well as easing the taxation process.