The Government today said it is likely to table a White Paper on black money during the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament, but maintained that there is no authentic estimate of the quantum of illicit wealth.
"The white paper is likely to be brought during the Budget Session," Minister of State for Finance S S Palanimanickam informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
The White Paper is expected to contain information regarding black money stashed abroad by Indians.
Replying to a query on the recent statement of CBI Director A P Singh on the quantum of illicit funds deposited abroad, Palanimanickam said, "...In this regard, it is submitted that there is no authentic estimate of quantum of Indian money stashed in foreign banks".
Singh recently stated that around $500 billion (Rs 24.5 lakh crore) of Indian money is stashed in foreign banks.
"The CBI Director has clarified that as regards the amount of illegal money, the estimate of around $500 billion of illegal money was in context of reporting of the matter in the Supreme Court on July 4, 2011...," the minister said.
The Supreme Court, inter alia, had observed, "there are reports and analysis generated by Government of India itself which place the amount of such unaccounted monies at astronomical levels".
He said a study has been commissioned to estimate the quantum of unaccounted income inside and outside the country and its ramification on national security on the basis of the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance.
"The study is estimated to be completed...By September 2012," Palanimanickam added.
Replying to a debate on Adjournment Motion on black money during the last Winter Session, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said a White Paper on the illicit funds will be issued.
State-owned oil companies today hiked jet fuel price by about 3%, the third time they have increased rates this month.
Officials in the weather department said the monsoon is expected to be below normal because of the El-Nino effect