EC proposal to reduce anonymous political donations being examined: Govt

The government on Thursday said that the Election Commission proposal to reduce anonymous political donations to Rs 2000 from Rs 20,000 is under examination.

On a question about the government’s response to the Commission’s proposal and whether such measures would usher in reforms and transparency in donations received by political parties, Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday said, “The proposal is under examination.”

Aiming for reforms and transparency in donations received by political parties, the poll panel had proposed reducing anonymous political donations from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000.

Currently, political parties have to disclose all donations above Rs 20,000 through their contribution report that is submitted to the EC. The Commission has proposed lowering the threshold limit for cash donations made to political parties from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000. If the proposal is approved, all donations above Rs 2,000 will be part of the contribution report submitted to the Commission.

There are a few political parties which have shown contributions above Rs 20,000 as nil, while their audited accounts statement showed receipt of huge amounts – all less than the limit of Rs 20,000.

The poll panel had also proposed to limit cash donations to 20 per cent or a maximum of Rs 20 crore to cleanse election funding of black money.

The proposed amendments will also lead to maintaining a separate account for receipt and payments related to elections by the candidate and the same has to be transparently disclosed to the authorities as election expenditure.

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