Political Party Funding:
Who Pays For the Party?
The different ways or methods used by a political party to raise money or funds is generally termed as political party funding.
Contributions from the members of the party such as small donations, some dues or membership fees funds a political party.
Moreover, taxpayers also play an important role in raising funds for a particular political party.
A political party may also acquire funds by ways which are criticized, but not illegal, such as donation by people during rallies, relief funds, the sale of coupons and other miscellaneous funding.
But election funding in India is not as transparent as it needs to be and the changes or the reforms have only made the situation worse.
However, if electoral funding becomes transparent in future, we should keep two types of needs in mind :
Firstly, the funding of political parties which should engage themselves in political activities throughout the year and not just at the time of election.
Secondly, the funding of the candidates.
However, political funding is not always positive.
There is a set limit of the amount that can be put in but is exceeded every time during the election.
The air of election and huge political game thus brings in corruption and black money.
It can distort the entire electoral process within seconds.
Hiding the private funders does not promote democracy and leads to an opaque system of working.
Use of fake companies to use the black money as donations is an easy task at the time of election.
Most of the political parties in India do not tell the actual costs included in the election campaign and various sources facilitating such funds.
Is there any Law regarding Political Funding?
The current law mandates political parties to declare the identity of all who donate more than Rs 20,000.
Sadly, the law is just on papers and is not implemented in any case.
People including big businessmen and some elites do pay high amount of funds secretly to the parties.
What Can be done?
State funding is much more useful and transparent method where the government provides funds to the political parties.
It helps in preventing high amount of wastage of money and gives a fair chance to each and every political party.
Moreover, system needs to be transparent in its approach.