Make political funding cashless
A panel of chief ministers has been formed to promote cashless transactions in the country. While coming up with useless political solutions like adding more freebies, like Rs 1,000 subsidy on smart phones, the panel avoided recommending cashless funding to political parties against the backdrop of just 16% income of political parties coming from known donors. The root of corruption and black money in the country is the political system, and no government wishes to make any reform here. Even the last part of the much talked-about speech of the prime minister on December 31, 2016, was simply about a desire that all political parties find consensus on reforms in the poll-process and funding of political parties. If the Union government can take hard decisions like demonetisation without any political consensus, there is no reason why it can’t make a surgical strike by implementing massive poll-reforms. Political freebies, including a R6,000 grant to pregnant women, should not be there. Instead of watering leaves rather than the roots—by promoting cashless transactions of petty amounts for illiterate commoners—the focus should be on complete cashless ecosystem for transactions of, say, above R10,000. Banks should abolish all transaction charges, processing and annual fees in respect of credit and debit cards and drawn from the mandatory CSR funds for this. Charity should begin at home, by making it compulsory for all contributions to political parties to be made through banks or smart-phones.
SC Agrawal, Delhi
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