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Black money is the word on everyone’s mind in India. The moment we think of the word, we think of politicians, we think of government officials and we do not forget to think of corrupt businessmen. While each of this is valid, there is a deeper reason as to why black money is so prevalent in the country. It is not just the malpractices but when it comes to black money, each and every one of us is accountable. How many of us have filled fuel in our vehicles and asked for the bill every single time?

Any exchange of money that is not recorded has the potential to turn into black money. This lack of recording is one of the common reasons why counterfeit notes have affected several economies across the country. Let me give you an example. Near the rear gate of my company is a cigarette vendor. He has a margin of one rupee per cigarette. He sells around 2000 cigarettes a day and none of this is recorded. To the outside world, his income is non-existent while in reality he earns a respectable amount.

So many of our small scale industries do not have any accountability. The roadside shops, the kirana stores and even smaller establishments seldom have any bill or recording mechanism. There starts black money. Knowingly or unknowingly, every single one of us contributes to black money in the country. Though we are not criminals to the level of those who perform scams, we need to be more responsible citizens. Without a bribe, a file does not move but a bribe happened because someone once gave it.

It is pretty easy to blame others but it takes courage to blame yourself. How many of you can truly say you’ve never bribed or used connections to skip the line so far? Voluntarily or involuntarily, you end up having to bribe in your lifetime. If you can honestly say no to this, hats off to you my good man. We are looking to be a cashless economy but we have been a ‘bill-less’ economy for so long that it has to be fixed as well. How many of the common citizens know to ask for a bill? How many file their IT returns?

People have no idea about taxes. While one set of people continue to pay taxes, there is a large part of the population (even the educated and salaried class) who don’t file their taxes. I happened to meet a person who has been working in a reputed firm for two decades and he told me that he had never filed taxes. This guy was in the accounts department. Oh the irony. This may be a right step taken but it needs a bit more fine tuning before it becomes a move that will define the government.