New Delhi: Turning wise from experience, the government at the Centre has taken measures to see that the changes proposed in the Representation of Peoples Act to clean up the system are strictly followed and no escape route is left unguarded. A clarification to this effect was made by officials here on Friday.
There was an apprehension in some non-political circles that the electoral bonds which the government proposed to issue for donors to political parties, for the first time, will be used for money laundering and collection of black money by these parties.
It was mainly feared because disclosure of donors' names who would contribute to the parties through electoral bonds were not proposed in the amendment to the Act. Therefore, the purpose will not be served.
The government has called this fear baseless. " Donor name will not be disclosed by the party but his name will be known to us because he will make payment through cheque or draft. So, there is a no escape route as is being suspected", finance department officials explained.
Besides, at the end of the year the party has to file Income Tax Receipt in which it has to mention the amount collected from redeemed bonds . The bond is redeemable in 30 days.
Anonymous cash donation limit has been brought down from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2000 which is also a good move suggested by the Election Commission and accepted by the government. It will make other necessary reforms suggested by the Commission.
The Association for Democratic Reform ( ADR) , a non-government organisation which has a made study on donations to political parties in last ten years and disclosed that 70 per cent of the donations are through unknown sources , has, however, not found these measures enough. Auditing of accounts of political parties should be made mandatory. It is one of the suggestions made by the organisation.