Moneycontrol
Jan 03, 2018 02:56 PM IST | Source: PTI

Bonds fail to break corporate-political nexus: T S Krishnamurthy

"It's not a step forward (in efforts to clean election funding). It (electoral bonds) does not solve the problem of money power, it does not solve the problem of transparency in donations," Krishnamurthy said.

The new electoral bonds scheme does not promote transparency in poll funding and fails to break the nexus between corporates and political parties, former Chief Election Commissioner T S Krishnamurthy said.

"It's not a step forward (in efforts to clean election funding). It (electoral bonds) does not solve the problem of money power, it does not solve the problem of transparency in donations," Krishnamurthy said.

"It (electoral bonds) does not enhance transparency as far as the public is concerned. It may be enhancing the transparency between the donor and the donee. Public are still kept in the dark as far as who gives money and how much money is given. That's not transparency. The public should know," he argued.

"It will still maintain the nexus between corporates and political parties which is not desirable. It is not a good system at all. It will probably only increase the money power among the parties," Krishnamurthy said.

He told PTI that a better measure would have been the setting up of an Election Commission-administered national election fund which would give donors 100 per cent tax benefits.

"All donations can be directly given to the national election fund. Give them (individual and corporate donors) 100 per cent tax benefit. It will be more transparent. It removes nexus between corporates and parties," he explained.

On how such an national election fund would operate, Krishnamurthy said it should be on the basis of guidelines to be drawn in consultation with all political parties.

"No party should be allowed to collect donations from companies and individuals except their own members. That removes the nexus between corporates and political parties," he added.

In the Lok Sabha yesterday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had outlined contours of the new electoral bonds that donors can buy from State Bank of India (SBI) with political parties receiving them being able to encash them only through a designated bank account.

The electoral bonds, which are being pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties, will be available at specified branches of SBI for 10 days each in the months of January, April, July and October, the finance minister had said.
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