New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Following Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s stand that no political party had come forward with suggestions to make party funding cleaner, the Congress on Monday released a May 30 letter that advocated complete transparency on donors and donees.
In the letter written by Congress MP and party treasurer Motilal Vora, the party expressed concern over transparency in funding of political parties and said the names of donors, donees, and the money donated must be revealed to the public.
Jaitley said on Monday that the government was actively working on the issue of electoral bonds, but no party had come up with suggestions to make party funding cleaner.
The letter said: “This is with reference to your letter to the Congress President dated May 2… the government is concerned with transparency in electoral funding of political parties. Transparency implies that the electorate must know who is the donor, which is the donee political party and what is the amount donated.”
Vora said in the letter that Jaitley’s Budget speech in Parliament indicated that a scheme on the issue will be framed by the government, though the party could not locate such a scheme.
“We, therefore, have only the Budget speech and some comments that you made in April to the media. Going by these, we infer that the donor’s name will be known only to the bank issuing the bond and the donee’s name will be known only to the Income Tax Department,” the letter added.
“In effect, only the government will know the names of the donors and the donees, and the people will not know who donated how much to which political party… this will not ensure transparency in electoral funding. On the contrary, it will be a completely opaque mechanism.”
Vora said the Congress would be able to comment further only after the party had studied the scheme promised to be made by the government.
In reply, Jaitley wrote: “I have received your letter dated May 30, regarding the issue of transparency in electoral funding of political parties.”