NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday indicated that it would be open to the idea of even scrapping the limit of Rs 2000 for anonymous donations to the political parties if there emerges a consensus among the stakeholders.
Replying to the discussion on the Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government has accepted the recommendations of the Election Commission to cap the anonymous donations to the political parties to Rs 2000 from Rs the earlier Rs 20,000, but the government would be open to go beyond to clean the funding of the political parties if there is a broad consensus among all the stakeholders.
Jaitley clarified that the political parties accepting the donations through bonds which would be issued by the Reserve Bank of India could be redeemed in only one of their bank accounts.
“The secrecy of the person making a donation through the bonds will be maintained as per the Banking Secrecy norms. But if all the political parties come to the conclusion that cash in its entirety be eliminated, the government would be open to the idea,” said Jaitley.
The Finance Minister also countered the claims of the Opposition that the Non-performing assets (NPAs) grew in the NDA times, saying that it had been the case of “over management of the banks in the times of the UPA, that the NPAs grew manifold.
He stated that the big defaulters did not get any loan under the NDA rule. “The UPA government had indulged in the discretionary allocation of national resources causing damage to the economy and the Modi dispensation did away with the practice as it learnt from their mistakes,” added Jaitely.
Turning to the issue of demonetization, the Finance Minister said: “The RBI has not yet come out with the amount of scrapped notes deposited with the banks. They are computing and will not hurriedly give the numbers as it concerns their reputation. The collection figures with regard to income tax, excise tax and realisation of VAT by states, with the exception of two states, have gone up post demonetisation.”
He added that cash is a root cause of many problems including the chit fund fraud which was witnessed in West Bengal.