Pol parties to go corporate as EC mulls accounting rules

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New Delhi: In an effort to curb the use of black money in the electoral process, the Election Commission now plans to ask political parties to conduct their finances in a corporate fashion by getting their accounts audited and publishing their audited finance sheets annually.

The EC has received a host of such recommendations from the country`s auditing regulator — the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) — and will notify the official guidelines to political parties and financial enforcement agencies like the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) soon.

"The EC will deliberate upon and take up the final recommendations submitted by the ICAI on May 27 and notify all the stakeholders in this regard. The final recommendations by the ICAI will help in making the electoral process free from use of illegal money power," an official involved in the drafting of the report said.

The recommendations by the top accounting body in the country come in the backdrop of the EC creating an Election Expenditure Monitoring cell within its establishment last year, which has been vital in the conduct of polls in Bihar last year and five other states recently.

The new cell, with the help of the I-T department, seized and intercepted huge sums of cash in poll-bound states and subsequent action by tax authorities led to the realisation of huge hidden tax.

The ICAI, in its final report, has recommended that "all political parties registered with the Election Commission of India may be mandated to apply accrual basis of accounting (reporting transactions on a real-time basis)." .

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