New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took to social media on Sunday to explain why electoral bonds are necessary, days after announcing its salient features in Lok Sabha.
He emphasised how the mechanism would establish much needed transparency in the electoral funding system.
He has written a detailed post on Facebook highlighting the need of electoral bonds. Criticising the conventional way of relying on cash donations he writes : “The sources are anonymous or pseudonymous. The quantum of money was never disclosed. The present system ensures unclean money coming from unidentifiable sources. It is a wholly non-transparent system.”
He further writes: “Most political groups seem fairly satisfied with the present arrangement and would not mind this status-quo to continue.”
“The effort, therefore, is to run down any alternative system which is devised to cleanse up the political funding mechanism,” he added.
Jaitley hailed electoral bonds as a solution to this issue. Elucidating the electoral bond scheme that he placed before the parliament , Jaitley writes that it envisages total clean money and substantial transparency coming into the system of political funding.
“A donor can purchase electoral bonds from a specified bank only by a banking instrument. He would have to disclose in his accounts the amount of political bonds that he has purchased. The life of the bond would be only 15 days. A bond can only be encashed in a pre-declared account of a political party. Every political party in its returns will have to disclose the amount of donations it has received through electoral bonds to the Election Commission.”
According to the Finance Minister, the choice has to be “consciously” made between the existing system of substantial cash donations which involves total unclean money and is non-transparent and the new scheme which gives the option to the donors to donate through entirely a transparent method of cheque, online transaction or through electoral bonds.
“While all three methods involve clean money, the first two are totally transparent and the electoral bonds scheme is a substantial improvement in transparency over the present system of no-transparency” he explains.
Welcoming the suggestions from citizens he writes, “The Government is willing to consider all suggestions to further strengthen the cleansing of political funding in India.”
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