December 17, 2016 11:56:03 am
A day after the government announced that deposits in bank accounts held by political parties would attract no tax, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday sought setting up of a commission to investigate the sources of funding received by political parties.
“Common people are being investigated if they deposit Rs 2.5 lakh individually. But if political parties are not going to be investigated even if they deposit Rs 2,500 crore following the decision, then it is wrong,” Kejriwal said at a press conference. “We demand setting up of an independent commission to probe into bank accounts details of political parties over the past five years, to investigate into their sources of funding,” he said.
Addressing media-persons on Friday, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia had announced, “If it is a deposit in the account of political parties, they are exempt. But if it is deposited in any individual account, in anyone’s account, that information will definitely come on our radar.”
Finance Ministry officials said that the tax exemption to political parties will be subject to existing conditions in the law. According to Section 13A of the Income-tax Act, political parties are exempt from income tax provided they maintain books of accounts and record details of individuals making donations over Rs 20,000.
Kejriwal also asked the Centre to mak details of money deposited by all political parties post-demonetisation public and sought removal of the “less than Rs 20,000 donation cap” for tax exemption, saying “each paisa the parties receive should be declared”.
“The income tax returns filed by AAP right from its formation until now are being enquired into. We are presenting each of the receipts and vouchers to the income tax department. We are not scared, what other parties, BJP, are scared of? Why they too should not be probed?” he asked.
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