Millennium Post

In a first, CPI discloses its funding sources via RTI

The Communist Party of India becomes the first and the only political party for disclosing its funding by various sources through RTI. The party made available the details of its funding to RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal, who had sought information from CPI and other political parties.

According the reply by CPI, the party has received over Rs 3 crore of funding by various sources in the last five years. Replying to Agarwal’s RTI query, CPI said that it received Rs 31,362,341 from various sources since 2008. The party has given details of the contribution which are more than Rs 20,000.

A Central Information Commission (CIC) order had said last month that six national political parties – Congress, BJP, NCP, CPI-M, CPI and BSP – are public authorities and they need to respond to RTI queries. CIC had given six weeks time to these political parties to appoint an officer who can share information with public under the RTI Act.

The reply by the party to Agarwal said, ‘We have not appointed any information officer. We elect our office-bearers according to our Party Constitution at all levels of our Party Organisation. However, we reply to your enquiries’.

Maintaining its stand that it does not agree with the CIC's ruling that the political parties are public authority, the party said, '...As for CPI is concerned we are for transparency of income. We have supplied that information. We explained our stand to CIC also. As for internal decisions, we are not prepared to share them with outsiders. We feel degrading to political parties to declare that they function with financial help from government. It is an insult to parties and democracy. This is not a baseless apprehension. You have your opinion. We have our opinion. Let us agree to disagree’.

‘Communist Party of India should be complimented to become first and the only political party for disclosing funding made to it by various sources when query was made to the party through an RTI petition, even though it did not approve of CIC-verdict bringing political parties under ambit of RTI Act. Similar RTI petitions were sent to several political parties including the six which were ordered as public-authorities under RTI Act by Central Information Commission through its full-bench order dated 3 June, 2013’, said Agarwal.
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