EC advised to be strict on tax exemption norms for parties

New Delhi: Former RSS ideologue and BJP leader K.N. Govindacharya on Friday wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) seeking denial of tax exemption to political parties if they fail to share details of cash deposits above Rs 20,000.

In a detailed representation to CEC Dr Nasim Zaidi, the former ideologue of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said political parties must provide details of deposits of over Rs 20,000 to income-tax authorities "of all such individual donors to justify their claim".

"In case, any political party fails to provide such details...they should be debarred from getting the tax exemption benefits and action should also be initiated by the Election Commission," Bharatiya janata Party (BJP) leader wrote.

Govindacharya said that as per the notification issued by the Finance Ministry, "cash deposits above Rs 12.5 lakh in current account(s) of a person on or after November 9, 2016 have to be explained in the statement of financial transaction as per the Income Tax Rules, 1962. 

"This notification provides no exemption to any political party and deposits of more than Rs 12.5 lakh in demonetised currency has to be compulsorily informed to the Income-Tax Department."

He asked the Commission to issue a circular to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to take cognisance of all the deposits above Rs 12.5 lakh in the form of demonetised currency by political parties on or after November 9, 2016.

The representation has been endorsed by P.V. Rajagopal of Ekta Parishad and Sushri Rajshree Chowdhary, who is the great grand-daughter of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

"The central government's resolve to end black money has to be supplemented by necessary steps by the EC that has been and should continue to be the torch-bearer for transparency in our political system.

"It is only through strict implementation of laws that the menace of black money can be removed from our electoral system, wherein the EC as a regulator is duty-bound to make the political parties accountable to the rule of law," reads the letter to Zaidi.