Black money embarrassment
The Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had hinted in an interview to a TV channel recently that the disclosure of names of foreign account holders would “embarrass the Congress”. But the details that emanated from NGO watchdogs, which keep a tab on donations made by individuals and corporate entities to political parties, seem to have embarrassed not just the Congress, but also the ruling party BJP. This is because both Radha S Timblo, managing director of a Goa-based mining company, and bullion trader Chamanbhai Lodhia of Gujarat, two of the three businesspersons accused of stashing black money abroad, had donated money to the BJP and Congress. While Timblo, head of Timblo Pvt Ltd, had donated R1.18 crore to the BJP and R65 lakh to the Congress from 2004-12, Lodhia donated R51,000 to the BJP. According to the Association of Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch, the details of the donations made by the companies have been sourced from the list of political donations listed on the Election Commission web site.
The central government has filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court disclosing the names of Timblo, Lodhia and former Dabur executive Pradip Burman who allegedly stashed black money abroad and thus evaded tax. Timblo Pvt Ltd is one of the many mining companies accused of carrying out illegal mining by the Justice MB Shah commission, which exposed a R35,000 crore illegal mining scam in the state. Timblo said she needs to study the government’s affidavit to the apex court before commenting.
Monitor PDS value chain
Apropos of the column “Taming the 3Fs” (October 28), the columnists’ point is that with Aadhaar-based DBT of food and fuel subsidies, the subsidy bill will reduce. It is a valid point because it will eliminate the ghost beneficiaries. But from ground experience, most of the leakage occurs at the level of traders before the grains or the kerosene arrives at the ration shop. The government must monitor these linkages as well.
Sumona Pal, Kolkata
Please send your letters to:
The Editor,The Financial Express, 9&10 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi-110 002
or e-mail at: email@example.com or fax at Delhi: 91-11-23702044