Demonetisation: No Exemption For Political Parties, Says Arun Jaitley

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Demonetisation: No Exemption For Political Parties, Says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said political parties would not be granted any exemption from Income Tax scrutiny on their deposits made after the demonetisation.

According to the reports, Jaitley on Saturday said that the parties were not allowed to accept scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as donations. Any political party doing so will be violating the law, he said.

Jaitley said that just like everyone else, political parties can also deposit their cash in scrapped notes in banks till December 30. If they fail to provide the satisfactory explanation about the source of their income or any entry in their account books made before November, they are as liable to be questioned by the Income Tax authorities as is anyone else, he said. “They enjoy no immunity whatsoever…There is no question of sparing anyone, and the political class is no exception,” he added.

It is to be noted that on Friday, Hasmukh Adhia, Revenue Secretary, had announced that the political parties were exempted from restrictions on depositing old currency notes in their bank accounts.

This clearly indicated that political parties will not come under I-T scanner, provided they comply with certain rules. However, Jaitley denied these reports and called it a “media creation”.

“There is no relaxation in the tax scrutiny of political parties. This is a complete media creation. We will take strong action against those parties which misuse the system,” he said.

“I implore all journalist friends to be fully outraged against any step of the government if it is not against corruption. But in equal measure, I would also implore them to do adequate research before jumping the gun,” he said