Assocham proposes national poll fund for parties

In a bid to stem out corruption and inflow of black money during election campaigns, an industry lobby has asked the government to create a national fund supported by budgetary provisions for political parties.

Last Updated: Jan 02, 2011, 14:20 PM IST

New Delhi: In a bid to stem out corruption and inflow of black money during election campaigns, an industry lobby has asked the government to create a national fund supported by budgetary provisions for political parties.

The suggestion was made by Assocham (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to create a "national fund" and to moot a proposal for suitable legislation to finance elections.

"This (proposed fund) should be supplemented by corporate and individual donations raised by the political parties on their own initiative," Assocham said in a statement.

The group further proposed that political parties should be legally compelled to publish the amount of donations they receive from corporates and the public.

"They should also give a consolidated list of donors within three months of the end of the election process. All individual donations exceeding Rs 1 lakh should be open to public scrutiny," Assocham said.

It also asked unlisted corporations and private donors to inform the Income Tax Department about their contributions, which should then be published.

"In one sweep this alone would cleanse our public life, help businesses to resist pressure for unaccounted donations and enable public to know who is financing whom," the industry lobby further said.

IANS