New Delhi: In a troubling revelation, the Election Commission of India has claimed that only 16 percent or 200 of the 1,200 registered parties in the country are involved in political parties and most of the others have been floated to launder money.
As per a report published in a leading newspaper, the EC believes that defunct political parties are involved in tax evasion through dubious donations and that most of such money finds its way into the stock market – registered political outfits enjoy tax exemptions.
As per the EC, records suggest that there have been several instances of cash transfers ranging from Rs 15-30 lakh, which, it feels, were for non-political purposes.
The report quotes Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi saying that the commission has repeatedly written to the government about the activities of such parties and sought powers to de-recognise them. However, little has been done on the issue.
The commission had also brought the matter to the notice of finance ministry and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
Although the EC does not believe that not all non active parties are involved in money laundering but many do appear to be involved in dubious money transactions.
The report also cities the case of two recognized political parties - Parmarth Party and Rashtriya Vikas Party – that came under EC’s scrutiny which inturn asked the CBDT to look into the matter.