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Only 3 parties respond to EC move to curb money power

Only three of the 60 national and state parties have come out with views on issuing guidelines on transparency and accountability in party funding, prompting the Election Commission on Thursday to remind them for their suggestions by 15 October.

According to EC sources, only three recognised political parties have submitted their views before the 30 September deadline set by the Commission on proposed guidelines aimed at curbing use of black money ahead of assembly elections to five states.

The parties which have submitted their suggestions are Trinamool Congress, AIADMK and Zoram Nationalist Party of Mizoram.

‘Till date no comments/suggestions/inputs have been received on any of the issues in connection with the proposal for formulation of ‘guidelines on transparency and accountability in party funds’ from your party,’ the EC said in its fresh communication to recognised parties.

The EC has proposed a ten-point plan to curb money power in polls, that includes a proposal to include issue of receipt/acknowledgement to persons or companies for every amount of contribution or donation made to the party.

The proposed guidelines also include depositing all contributions/donations in a bank account within a reasonable time frame.

The proposed guidelines also make it mandatory for the ‘treasurer’ of the party to maintain all finances and accounts and ensure that accounting norms of the parties should comply with the standards issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

The poll watchdog, which has created an election expenditure monitoring cell and deployed tax sleuths to monitor cash flows during polls, has stressed that all payments made to candidates for poll-related expenses should be done through recognised banking channels as mandated by RBI.
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