NEW DELHI: After furore over the clarifications of the revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia that the political parties continue to be exempted from income tax provisions while depositing the denotified currencies, the Election Commission has sought a bar on the anonymous donations to them above Rs 2000 in a bid to ensure that the political outfits don’t become conduits for black money.
The Election Commission has sent a draft amendment legislative proposal, which is currently lying with the Ministry of Law, wherein it has asked the government ban anonymous contributions of Rs 2000 and above made to political parties. Incidentally, the existing law -- The Representation of the People Act, 1951 – does not bar the political parties from accepting anonymous donations. However, the political parties as per the Section 29C of the RPA Act makes it mandatory to divulge details of donations above Rs 20,000.
The EC in a missive to the government has sought to make the law more stringent by lowering the ceiling from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000.
The EC has further sought that exemption of income tax should only be extended to political parties which contest elections and win seats in Lok Sabha or Assembly polls. Incidentally, the EC has noted that out of 1900 registered political parties only 400 contested polls between 2005 and 2015.