Corporates can fund parties in a transparent way: Tata Sons

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - 22:48

Hyderabad: Making a pitch for "transparent"
corporate financing to political parties during elections, a
top Tata official on Wednesday said any outfit needed to have a
minimum of three per cent seats in the Lok Sabha in order to
get funds from the company.

"Governments in countries like Germany finance election
funding for political parties. Since there is no such system
in India, corporates can do it in a transparent manner," J J
Irani, Director, Tata Sons said here.
"We distribute the amount with certain rules. We don`t
give money to parties with one or two seats. The parties
should have minimum of three per cent seats. If any party
stands on a lesser number, it will not get money from Tata
Election Fund (TEF)," Irani said in his inaugural address
during a function at the Institute of Public Enterprise here.

"If anyone approaches Tatas for funds individually, they
will be politely informed that TEF will take care of the
party," he said.

According to him, all Tata Group companies will put in
money together for the poll fund and there is no compulsion on
the percentage of contribution.

The Board of Directors of the group companies can take a
decision in this regard, he said.

"The fund is administered by two or three eminent public
figures, usually Supreme Court or High Court retired judges or
lawyers. This has become very popular. It helps avoid local
politicians and their bullying during elections. I think this
is the clean way of funding political parties. An individual
need not be funded but political parties can be," Irani told
the audience.
The Tatas were the first Indian corporate group to
formalise a structure for political funding and the Tata
Electoral Trust was replicated on the lines of poll funding
programme of Germany, which was the first country to introduce
public funding way back in 1959.

Mamata Banerjee had reportedly returned a Rs 27-lakh
donation made by the Trust in May last year on the grounds
that her party did not accept donations from corporate houses.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - 22:48

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