With the passage of the Finance Bill 2017, India has taken a significant step backwards in the fight to improve the level of transparency in political finance. In a new column for the Hindustan Times (and Mint), I take a look at the fine print:
The big loser here is the public. With the stated intention of improving “transparency in electoral funding,” the government has accomplished precisely the opposite objective. Consider the fact that corporations can now legally give unlimited sums to political parties who, in turn, can accept unlimited sums of money—all without having to disclose a single rupee. This money will now be subject to a digital paper trail, but this is explicitly meant to be off-limits to the media, civil society, and the general public.
You can read the entire piece here.