Black money funds political parties: Rahul Bajaj

Mumbai, Feb 1 (PTI) Industrialist and MP Rahul Bajajtoday added a new dimension to the debate over black money,saying it funds political parties.

"Where does the political party gets its funds from? Common, I''ve been in Parliament for four years. Its not cheques,its not by small members. All money comes in through blackmoney. Black money doesn''t come from heaven," Bajaj AutoChairman said addressing a CII conference here.

However, he maintained that the Bajaj family does notfund parties in cash and pays only through cheques to ensureaccountability.

He further hinted that promoters of companies alsoindulge in diverting some of the company''s money illegallyturning it into black money in the economy.

"Corporates do take it out from the company. Most of usknow some of the ways of taking that money out ... taking outblack money from a company is cheating minority shareholders,"he said.

Bajaj''s comments come even as a debate rages nationallyover black money of Indians stashed in Swiss Bank accounts,with demands being made to get the money--quantum of which isunknown but speculated to be huge--back to India.

Bajaj said principles of corporate governance cannot helpif the top management of a company, including its promoters,chairmen and CEOs, is corrupt and further expressed regretthat nobody like to talk about this facet.

The ex-president of industry body CII also made publichis reservations clear about the role of industryassociations, naming CII and FICCI. He said they take noaction against its members indulging in corruption and do noteven censure the wrongdoers.

However, he also spoke against the prevailing"presumption" in Government to see every promoter as a "crook"and asked for better legislative systems to boost the economicclimate.

"One bad egg should not mean that you shackle the entirecorporate sector. The 95 per cent who do business well shouldnot suffer," he said, pointing out to the Satyam caseinvolving R Raju and the company''s external auditorsPricewaterHouse Coopers.

"Raju shamed us, PwC shamed the auditing fraternity.

That (PwC''s misdoings) was either corruption or downrightincompetence," he added.

On independent directors, he said, many-a-time, theyare cronies appointed by the promoters themselves. Independentdirectors should decide whether "to be led or to lead", hesaid.

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