Corporates can fund parties in a transparent way: Tata Sons
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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 03, 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.


First Published: Wednesday, November 03, 2010, 22:48

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