Don’t pay candidates in cash, says EC’s draft guideline

NEW DELHI (TIP): The Election Commission on February 27 issued a set of draft guidelines on funding of political parties, asking them to provide election expenses to their candidates, not exceeding the prescribed ceiling, only through a crossed account—payee cheque, draft or bank transfer, and not in cash.

The Commission also wants that all contributions or amounts received by parties in excess of Rs 1,000 shall be acknowledged with a receipt and the party shall maintain a record of the name and address of such individuals, companies or entities. Besides, all contributions made to a party should be deposited in the party’s bank account within seven days.

The draft guidelines — aimed at promoting transparency in funding of political parties as well as keeping polls free and fair — “advise” the parties not to make any payment above Rs 20,000 in a day to any person or company or entity in cash. However, this stipulation may not apply to cases where the payment is made in a village or town not served by a bank, or the payment is made to any employee or party functionary towards salary, pension or for reimbursement of his expenses or in cases where cash payment is required to be made mandatorily.

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