Cash rich politicians and bureaucrats in Meghalaya may feel the heat after the decision of the Central government to amend the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005, making it mandatory for banks and financial institutions to record financial transactions of politically exposed persons (PEPs).
The amendments, which came into effect from March 7 onwards, define PEPs as “individuals who have been entrusted with prominent public functions by a foreign country, including the heads of states or governments, senior politicians, senior government or judicial or military officers, senior executives of state-owned corporations and important political party officials”.
Following the amendment of the rules, banks will now have to not only maintain records of financial transactions of PEPs but also share them with the Enforcement Directorate, as and when required.
Meghalaya has seen the rise of billionaire politicians in the last few years. It may be mentioned that out of the 59 candidates who won the recent Assembly elections in the State, 45 (76 per cent) are crorepatis.
This is as per the report of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) after having analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 59 winning candidates.
These include 20 out of 26 from NPP, nine out of eleven from UDP, four out of five from AITC, three out of five from Congress and two out of two from the BJP. These winning candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
The average assets per winning candidate for the 26 NPP winning candidates is Rs 6.83 crore while the average assets of each of the eleven UDP winning candidates is Rs 19.96 crore. Five AITC winning candidates each have average assets worth Rs 12.72 crore while for the five Congress winning candidates, each of them have average assets worth Rs 3.03 crore.
Further, the average asset of each of the two BJP winning candidates is Rs 14.91 crore. The two HSPDP winning candidates have average assets worth Rs 32.21 crore each.
The top three MLAs with high assets are UDP president and Mairang MLA Metbah Lyngdoh (Rs 1,46,31,51,838), HSPDP MLA Methodius Dkhar (Rs 55,10,00,487) and Sniawbhalang Dhar (Rs 45,35,80,343).
Three MLAs have the highest income in their Income Tax returns. They include Sniawbhalang Dhar (Rs 30,39,76,984), Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar (Rs 4,64,89,741) and Methodius Dkhar (Rs 2,43,95,433).
Eight MLAs have declared liabilities of Rs 1 crore and above. Of this, the top three are Metbah Lyngdoh (Rs 44,54,23,816), Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar (Rs 7,28,20,406) and Sosthenes Sohtun (Rs 4,78,90,545).
In the 2018 elections, 39 (66 per cent) candidates who won were crorepatis.
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