Published On: Sat, Nov 12th, 2016

Call to ban cash donations to political parties

Hyderabad: Lauding the move to abolish high-currency notes, former Supreme Court Judge N Santosh Hegde said on Friday that the government should now take steps to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks, and ban cash donations to political parties.

“I fully agree with Government of India decision. Every decision will cause some sort of a hardship to the people (in the short-term) but that cannot be a ground to say that we should allow to keep the black money in circulation,” he said.
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“At the time, I wish they (the government) should do something more in bringing the money in the foreign banks which was their (BJP’s) election manifesto actually,” said Hegde, who was a key figure in the Anna Hazare-led India Against Corruption movement a few years ago.

Demonetising 500 and 1,000 rupee notes is as important as bringing back the black money stashed abroad, the former Solicitor General of India argued.
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“Huge amount of money is there outside the country, I am sure either equal or more than that in India”, he told PTI.

Real estate transactions, in particular, do have large portions of black money in them, he said.

“And this (the demonetisation) is good move and our financial security should improve by this. I fully appreciate this step”, added the former Karnataka Lokayukta.

“They (the government) should take some steps (to bring back black money stashed abroad). I heard the Prime Minister as saying they have taken steps, shortly they may get it back but it’s two years since they came to power,” he said.

According to him the demonetisation move would definitely affect political parties in the coming round of Assembly elections, including in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab
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Hegde termed banning of cash donations to political parties as a “very good idea”, and favoured government making it mandatory for such donors to share their PAN or Aadhaar number.

“It will (then) be easy to cross-check with Income Tax Department whether such a person could have made that much of a donation. Then it becomes extremely difficult for them to give false names and give donations. Some such radical step should be taken to see that this type of black money transactions are stopped,” he said.

Hegde said the effort should be to see that black money “totally becomes useless”. (PTI)