Wednesday, September 15, 2010

India lost over USD 125bn in illicit outflows between 2000-08

From the Times of India, via Global Financial Integrity:
"Even as India continued to register one of the highest growth rates post-independence, rampant corruption resulted in an estimated illicit out flow of a whooping USD 125 billion between 2000 and 2008."
(We love the creative use of the word "whooping" instead of whopping - it conjures up just the right image.) Now to the GFI release, which contains another important point: even as India grew at eight percent a year from 2004-2009, the poor stayed poor.

"As India develops economically and builds better infrastructure, one would think that all Indian citizens would see an increased standard of living and that the income inequality levels would fall. However, the gini coefficient, which measures income inequality, has actually increased over the time period measured, 2000-2005, from 0.32 to 0.37 on a scale of 0 to 1, with 1 being the highest income inequality."

Illicit flows - which effectively involves the rich taking the cream while shaking off their responsibilities to pay for the costs of the cream-making machine - are central to the story. This release is based on a longer report, which will come out later this year.

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