Lower undisclosed donation proposal may not find many takers
Lucknow: The opposition parties, without exception, always find fault with the budget presented by the ruling party. Many a time it is without any sound logic. This year, however, is different. There is a reason for them to be critical about.
In this budget tabled on Wednesday, the government proposes to amend the Representation of Peoples Act to bring down the amount of money which can be donated to a political party and for which disclosure of source is not mandatory. None has made any demand for this change so far, indicating that it suited them fine. It is unlikely to find favour even now.
The amount was Rs 20,000 which is proposed to be reduced to Rs 2,000 which most of them will find too small.
The government has moved this proposal on the request of the Election Commission which suspected it to be a source of black money generation. It is not something new but the previous governments could not gather courage to make this change because of adverse reaction from the political parties.
The Modi government which has been favouring necessary reforms and not averse to risk accepted the Commission's demand which may not go well with the opposition.
The proposal may not be liked by some of the ruling party members themselves, though they are unlikely to say anything against it publicly to avoid disciplinary action. As such, the government will not face any problem in the lower house but it may find support difficult in the Rajya Sabha where it does not have a majority. Several other bills are still pending in the House for lack of majority.
The electoral body and the government might have gone for it because of reports that majority of donations made to the political parties were through undisclosed sources. The Bahujan Samaj Party's case stands out as it has not disclosed source of any donation made to the party during last ten years. The disclosure by others ranges between 70 and 100 per cent.
The other influential factor could be the disclosure that there are as many as 400 parties which are registered with the Commission but has not contested any election. All of them have received donations, may be for money- laundering as is being suspected.There is a proposal to de-register all of them too which is also pending. In all ,there are roughly 1700 political parties in the country. The other 1300 have contested either assembly or Lok Sabha election during last ten- year period.