To improve political probity and electoral politics, the Centre would soon come out with reforms aimed at flushing out the “black money” held by political parties, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah said on Tuesday. His comments assume significance as the government had earlier in December announced that deposit of demonetised currency in bank accounts held by political parties would not attract tax.
Finance Ministry officials said that political parties are exempt from income tax as long as they maintain records of individual deposits of over Rs 20,000. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive was aimed at rooting out black money and counterfeit notes. In November last year, Rs 500 notes and Rs 1000 notes were scrapped and new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes were introduced by the Reserve Bank of India. A 50-day deadline, which expired on December 30, was set for depositing old notes. The move came under strong criticism from Opposition parties and stalled Parliament proceedings.
Shah made the comments at a book release function. Shah, who was in Patna on a day-long visit, was welcomed by hundreds of BJP supporters at the airport. He also prayed at the Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib, the birthplace of the 10th Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh.