Congress' Manish Tewari Suggests Link Political Party Funding With Aadhaar
In a bid to bring more transparency in political funding, former Union minister Manish Tewari on Saturday favoured linking the donations to political parties with Aadhaar.
A file image of Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.
New Delhi: In a bid to bring more transparency in political funding, former Union minister Manish Tewari on Saturday favoured linking the donations to political parties with Aadhaar.
He also said corporates should not be in the business of funding the political process.
"Any donation made to any political party needs to have an address. Therefore, you need to link every donation to Aadhaar, whether a person is donating Rs 1 in cash or Rs 5,00,000 in cash.
"As long as there is Aadhaar linkage whereby the source of funding can be traced, I do not think we really need to go down this entire root of decreasing individual donations from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000, which only means you need to print 10 times more coupons," PTI quoted Tewari as saying.
The Senior Congress leader was addressing the 13th annual national conference on electoral and political reforms organised by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Commenting on the role of corporates in political funding, the Supreme Court advocate said, "Yes, corporates do not have Aadhaar cards. One possibility which is being explored for a long time is with regard to state funding of elections. It is an idea which is worth exploring, but how will one ensure that no private funding takes place."
The Congress leader, however, emphasised that transparency in political funding could be achieved if political parties were brought within the ambit of the Right to Information Act (RTI).
The former Ludhiana MP also described the electoral bonds and restricting cash donations to political parties to Rs 2,000 as "non-starters".
"Electoral bonds are non-starters because RBI would know who the purchaser of the bond is, and then the government will be able to have information regarding where the bond has gone.
Notably, to cleanse the political funding system and check black money, the Central government had proposed to restrict cash donations to political parties from individuals to Rs 2,000, while also introducing an 'electoral bonds' scheme.
Addressing the gathering, Sanjay Kumar, Director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), expressed displeasure over the removal of cap on corporate funding to political parties.
"Earlier, corporate could donate up to 7.5 per cent of its average profit of last three years to political parties. Now this cap has been removed and companies can contribute any amount of money. Unfortunately, now money can be returned to companies as expenditure. There can be a nexus between political parties and business houses," he alleged.
(With inputs from PTI)
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