In the wake of several scams, industry body Assocham has suggested to the government to create a national corpus for funding elections.
While political parties should be allowed to accept corporate and individual donations, they must be forced by law to make public such receipt of fund on a weekly basis, it said, adding that a new law be passed in this regard.
Besides, unlisted companies and partnerships should be asked to inform the Income Tax Department about their contributions to the political parties.
“In one sweep, this alone would cleanse our public life, help businesses to resist pressure for unaccounted donations and enable public to know who is financing whom,” the chamber said.
With a string of scandals like Rs 1.76 crore 2G scams, corruption charges in Commonwealth Games construction and Niira Radia tapes leakage, political leaders, bureaucrats, media and the industry have become targets of public discourse.
Assocham has suggested to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for creation of a national fund for partly meeting election expenses with strictly enforceable ceilings.
“The election expenditure should be part financed from the public fund and part from public and corporate donations,” it said.
Also, political parties should regularly publish a consolidated list of donors and all individual donations exceeding Rs 1 lakh should be open to public scrutiny.
Their annual accounts should be regularly submitted to the Income Tax authorities, showing all details of their receipts and expenditure.
Further, the chamber said, those candidates who do not disclose the contributions received by corporates or individual donators should be penalised.