Odisha

Budget 2017: Political Funding Capped

**New Delhi:** Union Finance Minister Arun Jailtely, while presenting the Union Budget-2017 in the Parliament on Wednesday, also touched on the contentious Political Funding issue.

Jaitley said that political parties continue to receive most funds through anonymous donations.

Henceforth, political funding will be made transparent.

Highlights:

1: Maximum cash donation any political party can receive will be Rs 2000 from one source.

2: Political parties will be entitled to receive donations by cheque or digital mode from their donors.

3: An amendment is being proposed to the RBI Act enabling issuance of electoral bonds for political funding.

Hailing such a step, Odisha BJP spokeperson Sajjan Sharma said, “It’s evident enough that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is serious and determined on bringing in electoral and political reformation in the country. Aiming at it, this year’s Budget wants that the financial transactions of the political parties should be transparent. Both the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister have well perceived it. Money matters a lot for a particular political party during the polls which is well-known nationwide. The objective of the step taken today in the Budget is to make all political funding modes through banks so that everything is crystal clear.”

Sharply reacting to it, Narasingha Mishra, Leader of Opposition, Odisha slammed, “Chor machaye shor! One who excels in political funding theft and fraud is now preaching others. The way they are arranging mega rallies of PM Modi and BJP national president transporting people in large number evinces the quantum of their expenditure. Is such spending met from white money? Where was the money channelised from? Let them first place details of those expenditures. Amit Shah after attended the mega rally here should have given a public statement on the sources of funding and thus transparency could have been maintained. Hence, one who is the most corrupt in the country is pointing finger at others.”

Former Finance Minister of Odisha Panchanan Kanungo in his reactions said, “Earlier Rs 20,000 anonymous political donation used to be made. That can be now done instead by 10 persons per Rs 2000. The proposal in the Union Budget on political funding cap is in fact not meant for disciplining the political parties. Modi should rather persuade the Election Commission and convene an all party meeting striving at electoral reforms in true letter and spirit having the people’s mandate behind him. Let him make a paradigm shift in the system. First check money spending by an individual or political party in the elections.”

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