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Need for a relook at law on funding of parties: BJP
In the wake of the Delhi High Court holding BJP and Congress guilty of prima facie violating the foreign funding law, BJP on Saturday said there is a need for a relook into legislative provisions to help incentivise transparency in political funding.
“At some stage, a relook may be required into these legislative provisions in order to incentivise transparent political funding,” BJP leader Arun Jaitley said.
Jaitley also raised concerns over Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) prohibiting parties or candidates accepting donations from foreign sources and said an Indian company registered in India and doing business in India can be regarded as a “foreign source” if FDI or FII shareholding of the company exceeds 50 per cent.
He said there is no mechanism that can trace out transient shareholding of a company as FIIs keep increasing or decreasing their investment in a company through purchase or sale of shares from the stock markets on a daily basis.
Jaitley said that with FDI and FII limits on the rise in every sector, Indian companies would be substantially disqualified from transparently funding Indian democracy.
“This may reverse the improved trend of transparent funding,” he noted.
His comments come close on the heels of the Delhi High Court judgement holding that BJP and Congress prima facie violated the foreign funding law by receiving donations from UK-based Vedanta Resources’ and its subsidiaries and directed the Centre and the Election Commission to take appropriate action against them within six months.