Electoral Reforms In India

Electoral bonds will not solve transparency issues in political funding: CEC

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Important aspects of governance, transparency & accountability

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Electoral bonds, Representation of the People Act, 1951

Mains level: Issues related to political funding and steps being taken to resolve them

Transparency issue will still remain

  1. Electoral bonds are a step in right direction, said Chief election commissioner
  2. But they will not solve all problems pertaining to transparency in political funding

Change of stance of EC

  1. EC had told a parliamentary committee that electoral bonds introduced by the government is a “retrograde” step
  2. The commission, in a written submission to the parliamentary standing committee on law and personnel in May, had said changes made in the election laws after the introduction of the bonds would compromise transparency in political fundings

How electoral bonds would affect transparency, according to EC

  1. The amendment in section 29 C of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 making it no longer necessary to report details of donations received through electoral bonds would compromise transparency

Process of funding via Electoral bonds

  1. An electoral bond can be purchased by any citizen of India or a body incorporated in India
  2. The bonds will be issued in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore
  3. They will be available at specified branches of the State Bank of India
  4. Donors can donate the bonds to their party of choice which can then be cashed via the party’s verified account within 15 days
  5. Every party that is registered under section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and has secured at least one percent of the votes polled in the most recent Lok Sabha or assembly election will be allotted a verified account by the Election Commission
  6. Electoral bond transactions can be made only via that account
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