TRANSPARENCY OF POLITICAL FUNDS IN INDIA

Political Funding-india-transparency-civil service notes-sreerag-politics                  Association of democratic reforms (non partisan non governmental body) had recently reported that the share of political funding has been increased beyond the limit, which  indeed calls for electoral reforms to limit the conduits of corruption in the competitive electoral democracy.

ISSUES RELATED TO POLITICAL FUNDS IN INDIA

  • Presently the political parties had to disclose only donation above 20,000 Rs.
  • Although political parties are exempted from income tax pay, they are bound to pay the  income returns before the respected authorities, and presently it is not  been carried out by political parties.
  • Lack of proper autonomous institutional framework to monitor such onshore and offshore funds.
  • Lack of initiatives such as “CITIZEN ACTIVISM” in the administrative framework of elections, which helps to keep a close watch over political campaigning.

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES REDUCING SUCH TRANSPARENCY IN POLITICAL FUNDS IN INDIAN PERSPECTIVE ?

Well reducing the transparency in the administrative as well as political frameworks clearly signals the growth of social threats such as intolerance, exploitation etc  affecting the daily life of common people. The consequences of reducing transparency in political funds can be evaluated under the following heads :

POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES

  • Leads to increased corruption in the competitive electoral democracy.
  • Further affects the agenda of conduct of fair elections in the country.
  • Curtails the opportunity of the public to get the best men or women in the institutional life of Indian democracy.

ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES

  • Exploitation and lobbying by the political parties on other entrepreneurial as well as other sectors of democracy which further affects the dreams of India and its initiatives such as Make in India, Start up India etc.
  •  Percolation of illicit black money by means of political funds affects the economic growth and other monetary policy targets, as well as leads to economic disparity.

SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES

  • More corruption in the political institutions and public institutions will reduce the faith as well as interest of people in public initiatives and programmes.
  • Exploitation of regional and other political agencies demanding funds affects other sectors like innovation, industry, etc, which further leads to other social problems such as unemployment, poverty, etc.
  • Uncontrolled increase in the political funds will increase the conduits of corruptions and “fixing” in the election process, resulting in  social threats affecting the integrity and unity of nation such as intolerance, agitations, protest, etc causing disruption in daily social life.

INTERNATIONAL SCENARIO

  • Affects the ranking of India in Global institutions such as Transparency international, which often publishes corruption perception index. Presently India ranks 79.
  • Leads to reduced FDI influx due to the unstable political as well as fiscal environment. Furthur affects the infrastructural development, investments etc.

SO HOW WE ARE BOUND TO REDUCE SUCH ISSUES OF POLITICAL FUNDS ..?

  • Key to regulate political funds therefore lies in bringing down election expenditure and ensuring that it provides opportunity to get the best men and women in the institutional life of Indian democracy.
  • Holding of simultaneous elections in Lok Sabha as well as State assemblies.
  • Better and close monitoring of election process by the election commission.
  • Short term and long term solution such as citizens activism that keeps a close watch over campaigning.

Initiatives like more digitisation, demonetisation of high value currency notes etc have been presently implemented with a motive to curb black money ,corruption,economic disparity, transparency etc. Now ,Indian being an aspiring country which seeks to ensure people friendly atmosphere in all socio economic political spheres, its time to take a call for ensuring more transparency in matters of political funding, thereby promoting fair and better competitive electoral mechanisms.