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EC seeks changes in law on funding of political parties

New Delhi: The Election Commission has written to the government suggesting amendments to the election law to make it mandatory for political parties to declare monetary contributions received from foreign companies and government bodies.

Official sources said the EC wrote to the Law Ministry recently to revise the format of reporting of monetary contributions that are declared by political parties in 'Form 24 A' under section 29 of the Representation of People Act.

The Commission has suggested the changes in the reporting pattern after consultations with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

The EC, the sources said, has suggested that political parties should be asked to furnish details about contributions (by way of cash or cheque) received from foreign companies and also those from government bodies.

They said the Commission has asked for the revision of the documenting procedures in order to make transparent issues relating to financial contributions made to political parties and their sources of funding.

The EC has suggested that any contribution received by political parties should have audit reports attached to their declarations and should specify what amount they received in cheques and how much was paid in cash.

The suggestions sent by the EC also state that if there was a 'nil' contribution made to the political party, that should also be reported to it in the revised 'Form 24 A'.

Till now, political parties only reported any amount or contribution received above Rs 20,000 to the EC under the election law.


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