Friday, June 14, 2024
Advertisement
  1. You Are At:
  2. News
  3. Politics
  4. National
  5. Political funding 'loosely governed' under law: CEC

Political funding 'loosely governed' under law: CEC

New Delhi: In a strong pitch for bringing about electoral reforms and an overhaul of laws governing political funding in the country, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Nasim Zaidi today said that almost eighty per cent of

India TV News Desk Updated on: December 15, 2015 19:44 IST
political funding loosely governed under law cec
political funding loosely governed under law cec

New Delhi: In a strong pitch for bringing about electoral reforms and an overhaul of laws governing political funding in the country, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Nasim Zaidi today said that almost eighty per cent of funds received by political parties escaped “scrutiny” due to the absence of laws in this regard.


Stating that the funding of political parties in the country was “loosely governed” under law, Zaidi said that it was high time for enactment of better laws to regulate money usage used in polls by parties and candidates. He was addressing a global conference on the influence of money power in the electoral process. 

“Political parties, as loosely governed under the law, they can raise any amount of resources barring contribution from government company and foreign donations and they can spend any amount of money during election campaign in a constituency if it is related to general party propaganda,” he said.

Noting that there had been an increase in corporate donations to political parties, the CEC said that “this has increased the scope of receiving and spending more money at constituency level (by parties).”

He also talked about monetary contributions exempt from being reported to the EC and their ramifications. “The only legal requirement for political parties is to make annual contribution report to the EC,” he said, adding contributions of below Rs 20,000 are “escaping scrutiny of the EC and the public.”

“We send these reports to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs and the Income Tax department for appropriate action at their end... data with us suggests that out of the total funds available with political parties, contribution amount of less than Rs 20,000 constitutes 80 per cent of total funds.

“These funds are neither restricted nor prohibited under law and we don't know the origin of these donations. EC is of the view that political parties should declare all levels of contributions,” he said, adding that in the absence of laws in this regard, the poll body brought out guidelines to somehow regulate these, in 2014.

The CEC said data with the EC suggests that electoral trusts are “also increasing the level of funding to political parties.”

“Another interesting part is electoral trusts can receive any amount of donations from any person excepting a government company and make any amount of contribution to political parties. The legal regime for regulation of trusts does not even exist under the Representation of the People Act.

“Trusts are not required to maintain, audit and publish their accounts. There are no declarations or disclosure requirements for electoral trusts nor there is any penalty for non—compliance of these requirements...there is no provision that bars trusts from receiving foreign funds and in the EC we have suggested a law on this aspect otherwise foreign funds can find a route through electoral trusts and we are receiving complaints in this regard,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)

 

Advertisement

Read all the Breaking News Live on indiatvnews.com and Get Latest English News & Updates from Politics and National Section

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement