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    EC seeks to bring down anonymous political donations to Rs 2,000

    EC seeks to bring down anonymous political donations to Rs 2,000

    EC seeks to bring down anonymous political donations to Rs 2,000
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    The EC has also sought to restrict cash donations to 20 percent or at a maximum of Rs 20 crore out of the total funds received by a party, whichever is less. The EC has sought that digital transactions or account payee cheque transfers should be made mandatory for all expenses above Rs 2,000 to a single entity/person.

    The Election Commission (EC) has proposed bringing down anonymous political donations from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000 and also capping cash donations at 20 percent or at a maximum of Rs 20 crore to cleanse election funding of black money. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar wrote a letter to Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju recommending a slew of amendments to the Representation of the People (RP) Act. The move came in the backdrop of the poll panel recently delisting 284 defaulting and non-compliant registered unrecognised political parties (RUPPs), declaring more than 253 of them inactive.
    Earlier this month, the Income Tax (I-T) department raided such entities across the country on charges of tax evasion after the EC shared its report with its administrative authority, the Central Bureau of Direct Taxes (CBDT). According to the fresh proposals, the poll panel has batted for lowering the threshold limit for cash donations made to political parties from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000, PTI reported. As per rules in force currently, political parties have to disclose all donations above Rs 20,000 through their contribution report that is submitted to the EC. Reports said if the EC's proposal is approved by the Law Ministry, all donations above Rs 2,000 shall be reported through the contribution report, thereby enhancing transparency in funding.
    The EC found that while donations reported by some political parties were nil, their audited accounts statement showed receipt of huge amounts, proving large-scale transactions in cash, below the threshold limit of Rs 20,000. The EC has also sought to restrict cash donations to 20 percent or at a maximum of Rs 20 crore out of the total funds received by a party, whichever is less. The EC has sought that digital transactions or account payee cheque transfers should be made mandatory for all expenses above Rs 2,000 to a single entity/person. The report said once this amendment - to be made in Rule 89 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 - is carried out, a candidate would have to maintain a separate account for receipt and payments related to elections and the same has to be transparently disclosed to authorities, as an account of election expenditure. Even though maintaining a separate bank account for poll expenditure is a part of the instructions but the EC wants it to become part of the Conduct of Election Rules.
    The EC also wants every candidate to open a separate bank account for election purposes, route all expenses and receipts through this account, and furnish these details in their account of election expenditure. The EC has also sought 'electoral reforms' to ensure that no foreign donations creep into the funds of the parties as stipulated under the RP Act and the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.
    With inputs from PTI
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