Political parties are big sources of black money, say activists

Speaking to HT, RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar said that unless a fair alternative with the authority to scrutinise, investigate and penalise offenders is made, all political parties should not be kept out of the purview of the RTI Act.

pune Updated: Jul 18, 2017 14:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,RTI,Black Money
“If we need to curb back money, it is necessary to bring political parties under RTI,” said activist Vijay Kumbhar. (HT REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

Political parties are engaged in public duty and therefore, should be brought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, said prominent RTI activists from Pune after Hindustan Times in its Monday edition published a report ‘EC must bring political parties under RTI Act’. Speaking to HT, RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar said that unless a fair alternative with the authority to scrutinise, investigate and penalise offenders is made, all political parties should not be kept out of the purview of the RTI Act.

“It is very clear that politics is a major source for black money. If we need to curb back money, it is necessary to bring political parties under RTI,” said Kumbhar while reacting to the HT story, which reported on paper published by the Pune International Centre (PIC). The paper ‘Containing black money: Possible policy mechanism’ by Dr V Bhaskar, member, 13th Finance Commission, has acknowledged ‘insightful comments’ from Vijay Kelkar, prominent economist and architect of the recently passed Goods and Services Tax bill.

Kumbhar, who along with another activist Bhaskar Prabhu had appeared before the Parliamentary Committee to present their views on inclusion of political parties under EC, said, “All political parties, for betterment of democracy and society, must be in public domain irrespective of whether there is any law or not.”

Vivek Velankar, another RTI activist from Pune said that in the absence of any transparency, political parties have become haven for black money. “To eradicate black money, any move that supports bringing political parties under EC should be fully backed,” said Velankar.

The PIC paper states that politics and real estate are the primary sources and sinks for black money in India.

First Published: Jul 18, 2017 13:13 IST