Lauding the move to abolish high-currency notes, former Supreme Court Judge N Santosh Hegde said on Friday 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 the government’s decision. Every decision will cause some sort of a hardship to the people (in the short-term) but that cannot be grounds to say that we should allow keeping black money in circulation,” he said.
Demonetising 500 and 1,000 rupee notes is as important as bringing back the black money stashed abroad, said Hegde, the former Solicitor General of India and a key figure in the Anna Hazare-led India Against Corruption movement a few years ago.
“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 a good move and our financial security should improve by this. I fully appreciate this step”, added the former Karnataka Lokayukta.
“The government should take some steps to bring back black money stashed abroad. I heard the Prime Minister as saying they have taken steps 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 upcoming round of Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab
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 efforts should be made to see that black money “totally becomes useless”.