Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How politicians dupe us on the black money issue...

The poll rhetoric of bringing back all the black money into India within a period of 100 days turned into a long forgotten promise. Only after the Supreme Court rapped Centre for being lethargic, did the NDA government disclose a few names couple of days back. However, after receiving flak for creating a protective umbrella for the rest, the NDA government handed over the entire list containing 600 odd names to the Supreme Court today morning. 

So, will this bring an end to the black money  trail and rescue India of the cancer that it has been breeding? 

To be quite honest, if you ask us, we reckon this entire exercise of naming and blaming is merely done for public appeasement. The very thought of tracing black money and punishing the guilty is like searching for Rapunzels in real world.

The logic is straightforward. This saga of bringing back the black money is on since ages. So, it is wishful to believe that account holders have not moved their money by now and are waiting for the government to act. As a matter of fact, an article in FirstPost succinctly highlights how the Indian National money with Swiss banks has vanished over periods. In 2006, Indian money in Swiss accounts stood at Rs 414 bn. It came down to Rs 140 bn in 2013. In fact, Swiss banks themselves have been asking their suspect account holders to move their money for safety purposes. 

As such, this entire exercise of creating a list to trace the money is futile. If either the NDA or the UPA government was indeed serious of punishing the black money culprits, they would have not indulged in this public tamasha. Instead, they would have directly taken action back doors and left no time for culprits to act or react. 

Did Obama made the matter public as to when he was going to execute Osama? Matters of national and security affairs are never made public. They are executed back doors. And the reason execution will never happen in India is because no political party is crystal clean. Execution may embarrass all parties. Hence, the best strategy is to indulge in blame game and fool the public. And the best way to do it is name small bullion traders and Timblo's of the world (read unknown faces). 

The above is from the newsletter I receive from "Equitymaster"

BJP govt shifting goal post to save face on black money foreign bank account holders

In its latest turnaround, the BJP-led central government has now indicated that might  
disclose a limited number of names, cherry picked from the list of foreign bank account holders possessed by the government through formal/informal sources. This is clearly an exercise to save its face.
The central government’s move raises the following key questions:
  1. Why only these 136 names ?
People of the country believe that the previous Congress-led UPA government had things to hide and blocked the disclosure of names. Now, with BJP government’s similar reluctance in sharing the names gives rise to a reasonable apprehension about its real intentions.
By cherry-picking a set of names and concealing others, it has further confirmed the belief that the BJP is hell-bent on saving some of the influential people appearing in those lists.
The truth is - there is no law in India or treaty with any country that stops the Indian government from taking action against the possessors of illicit money.

  1. BJP playing politics on the issue ?
Two recent developments have confirmed that the BJP wants to play politics over the issue of black money, rather than solving it. First, is the central government’s turnaround on the non-disclosure of some names and second is the cherry-picking of names to score political points.
The Aam Aadmi Party is of the clear view that anyone who possesses illicit money, irrespective of his/her affiliation with any political party, must be brought to book. Politics should not be played, rather the promise made by Mr Rajnath Singh of bringing back every penny of black money sitting abroad within 150 days of coming to power, and that of Mr Modi of attributing such money to every citizen to the tune of Rs.15-20 Lakh per person, should be worked towards.

  1. Double Tax Avoidance Treaty is not the issue-A matter already settled by the Supreme Court :
The Supreme Court in its judgement on 4th July 2011 after perusing the double Tax Avoidance Agreement between India and Germany emphatically conveyed that there provision or hindrance in the agreement that limits the disclosure of information. The SC also pointed, such a plea is untenable as no agreement can limit infringe upon the principles laid down in our constitution.
Extract of para 58 of the judgement: “The above clause in the relevant agreement with Germany would indicate that, contrary to the assertions of Union of India, there is no absolute bar of secrecy. Comity of nations cannot be predicated upon clauses of secrecy that could hinder constitutional proceedings such as these, or criminal proceedings”.

4.      Intentional disregard  of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)

India, Germany and Switzerland – all are signatories to the  UNCAC  which emphatically empowers the two countries on following counts:
·         UN Convention Against Corruption gives full sanction to make simple changes in the laws of our country to tackle black money menace permanently
·         UN Convention Against Corruption overrides ‘bank secrecy laws’
·         UN Convention Against Corruption empowers to freeze, seize and confiscate illicit money
·         UN Convention Against Corruption on Mutual Assistance by different tax jurisdictions
It is indeed surprising to see that the BJP government is disregarding the UNCAC, rather than using it to its benefit and prosecute those who possess illicit money.
Team AAP

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Communal violence in Trilokpuri unpardonable; it was pre-planned

Communal violence in Trilokpuri area of East Delhi is an unpardonable act which has been committed in a pre-planned manner to polarise the society on religious lines.

The Aam Aadmi Party appeals to the people of the area to maintain peace and clam, and no attention should be given to rumours being spread by vested interests to create discord between communities.

The AAP had sought a report from its MLAs – Raju Dhingan and Manoj Kumar, representing Trilokpuri and Kondli assembly constituencies about the reasons behind the communal flare-up and the prevailing situation.

Both of them have been spending their nights in the affected area to prevent any further disturbance.

The first-hand account narrated by them has brought out very disturbing developments, which make it clear that there is a political design behind this communal tension in Trilokpuri and its adjoining areas.

The AAP demands that the Delhi Police should probe the role of former BJP MLA Sunil Kumar Vaidya in the entire incident, since there are credible reports that he had convened a meeting on Diwali night and trouble started only after that.

It needs to be investigated what was the purpose of inflammatory meetings on Diwali night and where did the group led by this BJP leader go after their controversial meeting.

Though Police has increased its presence in the tension-hit area, but effective steps to prevent rumour spreading elements from vitiating the communal atmosphere still need to be taken.

The attempts to create communal discord need to be nipped in the bud and the Delhi administration needs to fully wake up before it is too late.

It has been reported in the media that the union home ministry had alerted the Delhi Police about the possibility of communal tension around Diwali in some parts of the capital, since neither the home ministry nor the Delhi Police have denied the existence of such an advisory, the people of Delhi have a right to know what preventive steps were taken.

Exchange of information is meaningless if there is no political will to take action and when precedents of Uttar Pradesh are already there, the central government which is controlling Delhi by proxy has a lot to explain.

Wherever and whenever there are elections, the BJP is ready with its dirty game to generate discord and disharmony to cause communal flare-up. It makes no difference that people are killed as long as they win the elections.
First it was Muzzafarnagar during the Parliamentary elections.
Then it was Pune in the Maharashtra elections. Fortunately it was contained.
Now, as Delhi gets ready for the polls, they have generated tension at Trilokpuri.
You can never straighten a dog's tail.

Supreme Court pulls up Centre and Delhi LG Najeeb Jung, says President's Rule can't go on forever in a democracy

The Supreme Court  on Tuesday pulled up Centre and Delhi Lietenant Governor Najeeb Jung for delay in taking decision regarding government formation in Delhi.
"In a democracy, President's Rule can't go on forever. Lieutenant Governor should have taken decision on government formation at the earliest and should not have taken 5 months time," said Supreme Court.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar and Additional Solicitor General P S Narsimha on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that President Pranab Mukherjee has given his consent to invite the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a government in Delhi.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu said that it will hear the petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seeking dissolution of the House even though the Centre informed the bench that the President has given his consent on Lt Governor Najeeb Jung's proposal to invite BJP to form government.
The bench also asked why the Centre always comes out with one statement or another just a day before the matter is taken up for hearing by it.
Trivializing this development, Aam Aadmi party (AAP) leader and lawyer Prashant Bhushan said the BJP was just playing another game.
“This game has been going on from the past six months. The BJP keeps spreading news such as this. Such news being circulated before the hearing is meaningless as the BJP does not have a majority. It is just a way to postpone holding of elections and court's hearing,” Bhushan said.
Meanwhile, AAP chief took it to micro-blogging site Twitter accusing BJP of playing tricks. 
Kejriwal further questioned, "How will BJP form government? They don't have nos. Why don't they just call elections? If BJP discloses all black money  holders' names, then who will give them money to fight elections in some states and buy MLAs in others?"
Delhi has been under President's rule since Kejriwal resigned as the Chief Minister on February 14 after being in office for 49 days.
Kejriwal on February 14 had resigned after suffering a defeat in the assembly on the Jan Lokpal Bill and in a political gamble he recommended dissolution of the assembly and holding of fresh polls.
A week ago, Delhi BJP  Chief Satish Upadhyay  had said there has been a groundswell of support for the party across the country and it was ready to face polls in the city even tomorrow. "We are fully ready to face the election. We are prepared even to go to the polls tomorrow. We are confident that if election is held, BJP will get a very clear mandate," he said. 
It is appreciable that the President has taken a decision to invite the BJP to form a government in Delhi in spite of the overwhelming evidence that they are not in a position to form a government. If they cannot form and the government fails, who will be responsible for the failure, Mr. Jung or Mr. Pronab Mukherjee?
Whimsical decisions cannot be taken according to the dictates of the ruling party. Someone should be answerable.
Who will be answerable in the present context?

Govt. draws flak for not revealing all names of persons involved in black money cases

New Delhi, Oct. 28 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA government has drawn flak from opposition parties for not declaring the names of all black money account holders.
Former director of Dabur India Limited, Pradip Burman; chief promoter of Shreeji Trading Company based in western state of Gujarat, Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhiya; and Goa-based miner, Radha Satish Timblo, are the only persons named in an affidavit filed by the government and placed before the Supreme Court.
The three are currently under the scrutiny of the income tax authorities.
Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja, said revealing the names of only of businessmen exposes the government's hypocrisy.
"Why all the names are not being revealed? The government will have to answer. Why no politician's name has been revealed? The government has to answer. These are very important questions. Otherwise, it is clear the BJP-led government, Modi government, lacks the political will and determination to fight the corruption and to unearth black money," said Raja.
The Congress Party also demanded BJP government reveal all 800 names involved in the black money case as promised before coming to power.
Congress Party leader Rashid Alvi, said people of India have the right to know about the status of the money stashed in foreign bank accounts.
"The three names that have been revealed have no connection with any political party. They should face trials. But what about finance minister's statements? That's why I said the BJP is keeping the countrymen in the dark. I am saying again, they should reveal all names and show the list to the public. People should know whose money is stashed in foreign banks. They should not only reveal the names but must bring the money back to the country, which they promised before the general elections," said Alvi.
The central government in the affidavit said it has no intention to hold back any information or the names it received from the foreign governments of Indian citizens holding undisclosed accounts abroad.
The government added it set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to inquire further, soon after coming to power, as ordered by the Supreme court.
The Communist Party of India (CPI) also said the BJP was faking about bringing the black money back to the country.
"These three names belong to very small corporate houses and are not important. What about the big corporates and big political families and their supporters? I believe that 50 percent of the black money belongs to big corporate houses, 15 percent belongs to political parties and 30 percent belongs to their supporters," said CPI leader, Atul Anjan.
He added Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who used the issue of black money during his election campaigns, should now get to the truth.
Last week, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had rubbished allegations by opposition parties that the BJP was reluctant in revealing names of people having black money stashed abroad.
However, defending his party's stand, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the government is committed to keep the list transparent.
"Today is a historical day in the fight of black money. The government in the centre has shown that they have the intention of not only declaring the names but also bringing back the black money. It has promised the people that we would fight for the black money issue and today is the day when the promise has been kept. Names are gradually being declared as has been promised by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, that in the due procedure of law, names would be declared and that has started to happen today," Patra had said on Monday.
The central government in its application to the Supreme Court on Monday stated it cannot reveal names of account holders under double taxation avoidance agreement.
The Supreme Court in 2011 had ordered that all details of black money stashed abroad should be made public.
Pankaj Chimanbhai Lodhiya, however denied the charges.
"I don't have any Swiss account so I don't know. Actually right now, I am getting to know all these as you tell me but I don't have any Swiss account. Whatever the prosecution, we will just reply. We don't have anything. We have already shown all the books that we have," said Lodhiya.
India is the world's ninth most corrupt country, with 54 percent of the population paying a bribe over a period of one year, according to a 2011 report by Transparency International. Corruption may cost India between one and two percent of Gross Domestic Product ever year. (ANI)
As it has always been doing, the government is again protecting its own clan and their capitalist friends led by Mukesh Ambani. Question is will the Supreme Court accept this list or have they also sold themselves to Mukesh Ambani?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Timblo Pvt Ltd donated 9 times to BJP and thrice to INC Between FY 2004-05 and 2011-12

At last, after much dragging of feet, three names of holdersof black money abroad have been published. As expected, these parties are contributors to both the BJP and the Congress, hence the reluctance of both parties are understandable.
But what about the other names?
Politicians and Modi Crony capitalist like Mukesh Ambani?

New Delhi: The Central Government, today, filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court disclosing the names of three persons who have allegedly stashed black money abroad thus evading tax. These include Goa miner Radha S Timblo, former Dabur executive Mr Pradip Burman and Rajkot based bullion trader, Mr Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhia.

An analysis of the donations made by individuals and corporates to the National Parties between FY 2004-05 and 2011-12 shows that Timblo Pvt Ltd, whose Managing Director is Radha Timblo, had donated nine times to BJP amounting to a total of Rs 1.18 crores and thrice to INC, amounting to a total of Rs 65 lakhs in seven years. Also, the BJP’s donations report for the FY 2011-12 lists the name of Chamanbhai Lodhiya from Rajkot who had donated a total of Rs 51 thousand to the party. Details of all donations made by Timblo Pvt Ltd and its representatives are listed below:

Donations to Bharatiya Janata Party

Pan Given
Contribution Mode
Financial Year
 TIMBLO PVT LTD-Radha S Timblo Managing Director
Kadar Manzil, PO No-34, Margoa-403601, Goa, India
031097, Federal Bank, Panaji
 Timblo Pvt Ltd
 Dilip Timblo
Radha Enclave 8301311,1st Floor Next to Alta mont society Ascania Da costa Road
315549 ICICI Bank Ltd
Panduranga Timblo Industries
Shubash Timblo Bhavan 1st Floor Margao Goa
261677 SBI Panji
Panduranga Timblo Industries
shaubash Timbo Bhavan 1st Floor Margoa Goa 403601
261680 SBI Panji
 Timblo Pvt. Ltd.
Margao Goa
766610 HDFC Bank. Margao
 Timblo Pvt Ltd
Capsem, Cudchade Goa
Cheque No. 329754, The Madgaon Urban Co-Op Bank Ltd Margao
Capsem, Cudchade Goa
 Timblo Pvt. Ltd
Capsem, Cudchade-Goa
372893 Madgaum Urban Co-op. Bank Ltd. Margac
Chamanbhai Lodhiya, Rajkot  (Pankaj Lodhiya, Rajkot)
093035 Axis Bank Ltd.Rajkot City
Total Donations (Rs)
Rs 1,18,51,000 (~Rs 1.185 crores)

Donations to Indian National Congress

Pan Given
Contribution Mode
Financial Year 
Timblo Pvt.Ltd.
Cheque No- 002708/date 29-03-2012, The Federal Bank Panaji GOA
Timblo Pvt.Ltd.
Cheque No- 031498/date 24-03-2012, The Federal Bank Panaji GOA
Timblo Pvt.Ltd.
P.O. Box 34, Kedar Manzil, Margao-403601,Goa
Ch.No.035245/Dtd.20.04.2009 HDFC Bank Ltd. Margoa Branch
Total Donations (Rs)
Rs 65,00,000 (~Rs 65 lakhs)

There are a total of 13 Electoral Trusts, only seven of which have been approved by the Central Bureau of Direct Taxes (CBDT) because they were formed after the CBDT rules governing Electoral Trusts were notified on the 31st January, 2013. The remaining six Electoral Trusts were already in existence before the CBDT rules for such Trusts were notified.

The seven Electoral Trusts formed after the CBDT rules came into effect are required to submit details of their donations to the ECI. The remaining six formed before the CBDT rules came into existence are not required to do so under the current dispensation. These six Electoral Trusts have donated more than Rs 105 crores to national parties between 2004-05 and 2011-12. Details of these donations are not known.

Since details of donors who made contributions to these six Electoral Trusts which were in existence before the CBDT rules are not known, it cannot be verified whether the funding of political parties through Electoral Trusts was not only a means of getting tax exemption but also a means to convert black money stashed in tax havens to white money in India.

Therefore details of donors of Rs 105 crores donated to political parties by the six Electoral Trusts which were formed before the CBDT rules came into existence, should also be disclosed. These Trusts include General Electoral Trust, Electoral Trust, Harmony Electoral Trust, Corporate Electoral Trust, Bharti Electoral Trust and Satya Electoral Trust.

Contact Details

Media and Journalist Helpline

+91 80103 94248
Mr Anil Verma

National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms

+91 8826479910

Prof Jagdeep Chhokar
IIM Ahmedabad (Retd)
Founder Member National Election Watch, Association for Democratic

Prof Trilochan Sastry
IIM Bangalore
Founder Member,
National Election Watch,
Association for Democratic Reforms

Don’t reveal names of black money holders now: Assocham

Amid a growing clamour for naming of alleged black money holders, industry body Assocham today said the Government should not prematurely disclose the names of such persons as it could hamper battle against this menace.
“The double taxation avoidance treaties are important for the Indian residents and corporates which can avoid paying taxes twice. Revealing the names of individuals allegedly holding unaccounted money can make to headlines but will surely make India’s battle against the menace weak. Besides, violation of DTATs will deal a severe blow to the country’s credibility,” it said in a statement.
“If names are placed in public domain and those named finally do not get convicted, there would be immense damage to the reputation of the individuals or entities ... Impression should not be given as if there is a wild goose chase which can harm the entire jurisprudence,” it said.
It also appealed to the different political parties to see reason while exerting pressure on the government to disclose classified information about individuals or entities relating to their alleged illegal accounts abroad.
“The best course would be to bring in systemic changes so that the premium on black money is diminished and with the help of technology, transparency is taxation becomes order of the day,” it added.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the name of persons would be disclosed as and when the cases are filed in the court.
The government, Jaitley has said in his Facebook post, “stands committed to detect the names, prosecuting the guilty and making them public. We are not going to be pushed into an act of adventurism where we violate the treaties and then plead that we are no longer able to get the cooperation of reciprocating states...”
Appreciating Jaitley’s stand on black money issue, the chamber said it is sensible to respect the double taxation agreements as ‘adventurism’ could weaken India’s resolve to fight the menace.
It is but natural the ASSOCHAM, FICCI and other bodies which cater to the interest of businessmen should not want their names revealed just as the Congress and BJP MPs have been dragging their feet.
It would have surprised me if they had asked the government to reveal the names.