New Delhi: Former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi has proposed mandatory annual audit of funds and donations received by political parties.
We want all political funding should be transparent and checked. There should be annual compulsory audits by an independent auditor to be picked up from a panel suggested by the Election Commission," Quraishi said.
He said the report of such audit should be put in the public domain.
"Everybody will be able to see where the money is coming from. Whether they (parties) get money from a corporate and within a month or two month (if) they favour him. People will see all this," the former CEC said, supporting an oversight mechanism on the funding of parties.
During his tenure, Quraishi said, he had held discussions with political parties on the need to bring in more transparency in fundings and barring candidates having criminal background from contesting elections.
"We have had discussions with them (political parties) for this (funding) reforms and barring criminal people from contesting (elections). But we have not been able to bring them on," he said.
To a question whether political parties should come under the ambit of the Right to Information Act, he said, "That is a good idea."
Political parties in the country have `earned` a whooping Rs 4,662 crore through donation and other sources between 2004 and 2011 with the ruling Congress at the top with an income of Rs 2,008 crore followed by BJP at Rs 994 crore, two NGOs have recently claimed in their report.
The reports were based on the Income Tax returns and list of donors submitted to the Election Commission for the period 2004-11.