Source: 
Times of India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ajay-Maken-Ambika-Soni-voluntarily-disclose-their-I-T-returns/articleshow/19503725.cms
Date: 
12.04.2013
City: 
New Delhi

NEW DELHI: Cabinet minister Ajay Maken, Congress leader Ambika Soni and MoS Pratik Prakashbapu Patil are among the 28 legislators who have voluntarily disclosed their income taxreturns in response to an appeal by theAssociation for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

ADR, a think-tank that works on electoral reforms, had sought I-T returns of 42 MPs and MLAs that was turned down by the I-T department. The appeal is now being examined by the Central Information Commission (CIC) that is likely to take up the matter on April 16.

Among the others who have disclosed their I-T returns are former rail minister Dinesh Trivedi, former tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahay, BJD MP Tathagata Satapathy, Congress MP B K Handique, National Conference MP Mirza Mahboob Beg, RS MPs Arnavaz Aga and Mandagadde Rama Jois.

Among MLAs who have chosen to disclose their I-T returns are all from Rajasthan. These include Congress's Virendra Beniwal, Rajendra Pareek and Hema Ram Choudhry.

According to ADR reports the average increase in MPs assets between 2004 and 2009 was 289% or Rs 2.9 crore per MP within five years. Among MPs from Rajya Sabha, BJP has 14 (88%) out of 16 candidates who are crorepatis, followed by Congress with 12 (80%) crorepatis out of 15 candidates.

The organization has sought information citing among other arguments the issue of conflict of interest and probity in public life. About 58% of Rajya Sabha members are crorepatis with flourishing professional practices, remunerative dictatorships, shareholding in media, infrastructure, hospitality besides paid consultancy and other engagements.

ADR also pointed out that tax returns of Parliamentarians are voluntarily being disclosed in countries like the US and the UK. Presidential tax returns in the United States are available online. Like all other citizens, US Presidents also enjoy the protection of their privacy, but they chose to release their tax returns publicly.

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