Recently there has been a lot of debate on the Minimum Income Guarantee or NYAY scheme which is part of the Congress Manifesto for 2019 election. Many people have commented on how it is fiscally not possible to give Rs. 72000 to 20% of the poor families in India. Many have feared that this will lead to an increased tax burden on the middle class.
In the din about the Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme, one important announcement by the Congress President went unnoticed. He has opened the door for money laundering and corruption by promising to make it easier to form shell companies.
After 2019, Congress government will exempt young entrepreneurs from taking permission from the government for the first 3 years of the venture: Congress President @RahulGandhi #कांग्रेस_की_शक्ति pic.twitter.com/8Er5ONLsiI
— Congress (@INCIndia) March 26, 2019
Essentially what he is saying that anyone can form a company and for 3 years they don’t need any permission from the govt. This opens the door to dubious businessmen and corrupt people to start shell companies claiming to be entrepreneurs. These companies will need no license from the govt for 3 years. Essentially they can fly under the radar without any license and without paying any taxes. The corrupt can easily park their ill gotten wealth in these companies.
The modus operandi to use this scheme to further the corruption is very simple. The corrupt politician or govt. servant starts a company claiming to be an entrepreneur. Then instead of asking cash bribes, he can demand that the person “invest” in the shell company or do some “business transaction” with the shell company. Since the company need not be licensed for 3 years he can route all the ill-gotten wealth to the company. Just before the 3 year period is about to end the company can be dissolved and a new company can be formed and the cycle will continue.
This scheme is nothing but a legal way of converting black money to white. I am not saying that genuine entrepreneurs will not benefit from this scheme, but along with them the corrupts will have a field day.
One of the gains from demonetization was the detection of lakhs of shell companies which were used to launder dirty money. These companies existed even though there was a requirement for getting a license. This was done using dummy directors acting as a front for corrupt people.
Now the Congress is promising to remove the licensing requirement altogether. The shell companies will mushroom all over the country and the gains from demonetization will be lost. The corrupt will have a field day and nothing could be done about it.