The Union Law Ministry is seriously examining a proposal of the Election Commission to amend Form 24A, which makes it mandatory for political parties to file details every year of funds/donations they receive in excess of Rs.20,000.

This follows reports that some parties receive funds from foreign corporate bodies and agencies as “contributions or donations” through various channels in violation of rules. Sources in the Ministry said the Commission has suggested that the limitation of Rs.20,000 be removed to make it mandatory for parties to show on record all voluntary donations, irrespective of the sum. Likewise, the parties should be asked to file a declaration that they did not receive funds from foreign agencies/corporates and from any government body/agency in India.

It is common that big corporates, to ensure that they stayed in the good books of the ruling party, as well as main opposition parties, donate heavily during polls. According to reports, some parties, which receive such “contributions” route them for different purposes that include personal use such as buying jewellery, house, property, etc., violating the Income-Tax Act.