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Does The Fight Against Black Money Side Step More Than 1800 Political Parties?

Is the common man bearing all the pain in the name of nation building?

Vivek Kaul, noted author and writer, has drafted a petition requesting the President of India to instruct the Government to bring in the much needed change in the way political parties are being funded. And all he needs is 25,000 signatures by 6th January 2017 to get this moving.

In the fight against black money, a key beneficiary has been left out, the 1866 political parties. A law with very serious consequences continues to impinge on the constitutional right of equality of all Indian citizens.

These seemingly arbitrary regulations (or lack thereof), enacted by the Government itself, present an unacceptable disparity of rights which are leaning in favour of political parties, rather than the citizens. One such act is 13A of the Income Tax Act of 1961.

Article 13A of the Income Tax Act of 1961, effectively allows political parties to accept donations of up to Rs 20,000 without the need to disclose the details of the donor. This law gives the 1,866 political parties the unique privilege to accept donations, including in cash, and deposit them in a bank without scrutiny.

In contrast, ordinary citizens must prove they are legitimate by showing their PAN card or some other identify proof. On top of that they may need to explain in great detail the source of all deposits when the Income Tax sleuths come calling.

Therefore, the Government of India needs to be instructed by the President of India immediately to repeal this provision of the Income Tax Act of 1961, and establish parity in the way individuals and political parties are treated in respect to this aspect of the law.

Why sign the Petition?

Political parties are hoarding hundreds of crores, year after year, in anonymous donations. Much of it in cash, which the parties can deposit in a bank account without scrutiny.

Political parties are currently not required to publicly disclose contributions of up to Rs 20,000. This means that any political party that receives individual donations of up to Rs 20,000 in cash can deposit it in bank accounts. This money will not be investigated simply because these donations need not be publicly disclosed.

The Election Commission of India has proposed that the limit for anonymous donations be reduced from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000.

This is laudable. But it's unlikely to ever be implemented. And even if implemented, what stops political parties from showing donations of less than Rs 2,000 and getting away with it.

Vivek Kaul through his petition encourages the citizens of India to take matters in their own hands.

If Vivek gets the required support from the media, influencers, and every Indian on the internet, his petition could just stop the anonymous funding of political parties, and reduce one of the country's many ills. A clean funding process guarantees a better polity.

Vivek will personally ensure that the signed petition goes to the President of India. But before that he needs people's support to spread the petition like wildfire, and he needs signatures from a minimum of 25,000 Indians.

Sign this petition now

About Vivek Kaul

Vivek Kaul is the editor of the Vivek Kaul Diary and The Vivek Kaul Letter. He has worked at senior positions with the Daily News and Analysis (DNA) and The Economic Times, in the past. He is the author of the Easy Money trilogy, books that were bestsellers on Amazon. His writing has also appeared in The Times of India, The Hindu, The Hindu Business Line, Business World, Business Today, India Today, Business Standard, Forbes India, Deccan Chronicle, The Asian Age, Mutual Fund Insight, Wealth Insight, Swarajya, Bangalore Mirror among others.