The Modi Government has, once again, tried to misled the Parliament and the country.
Responding to Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Md. Nadimul Haque’s questions in the Rajya Sabha about “whether it is a fact that the Election Commission has raised concerns on the issue of electoral bonds, if so, the details thereof as well as reasons thereof,” the Finance Ministry said, “The Government has not received any concerns from Election Commission on the issue of Electoral Bearer Bonds.”
However, as per a letter accessed by NewsCentral 24×7 written by the Election Commission to the law ministry, it had brought its concerns to the notice of the Finance Ministry and has suggested that if political parties are allowed to accept donations through electoral bonds, it would lead to increased use of black money and would have serious impact on transparency aspect of political funding.
“It is evident from the amendment which has been made that any donation received by a political party through electoral bonds has been taken out of the ambit of reporting under the contribution report as prescribed under Section 29 C of the RP Act, 1951, and therefore this is a retrograde step as far as transparency of donation is concerned and this proviso needs to be withdrawn,” EC wrote in a letter dated May 26, 2017.
Read the entire letter here:
“Moreover, in a situation where contributions received through electoral bonds are not reported, on perusal of the contribution reports of the political parties, it cannot be ascertained whether the political party has taken any donation in violation of provisions under Section 29B of the RP Act which prohibits political parties from taking donations from government companies and foreign sources,” the letter further read.
It mentioned in the letter that the amendment to Section 182 of the Companies Act, 2013, would “open the possibility of shell companies being set up for the sole purpose of making donations to political parties, with no other business of consequence having disbursable profits” and would also “lead to increased use of black money for political funding through shell companies.”
Contributions to political parties are governed by Section 182 of the Companies Act, 2013 (the Act), which provides that a company that is not a Government company and which is in existence for at least last three financial years may contribute any amount directly or indirectly to any political party registered under the representation of Peoples Act, 1951. The section was commenced w.e.f. 12.09.2013. Section 154 of the Finance Act, 2017 amends section 182 of the Companies Act, 2013. As per the amendment, the limit on the maximum amount that can be contributed by a company to a political party has been removed.