Withholding donors’ names a regressive step: Congress on electoral bonds

NEW DELHI, JAN 3: The Congress today hit out at the central government over the introduction of electoral bonds, alleging that withholding the donors’ names was a “regressive step” and would give unlimited access to the ruling party to misuse official machinery to “coerce” them.

Chief spokesperson of the Congress Randeep Surjewala said today that hiding names of donors of electoral bonds was a “regressive step”. “Hiding ‘donor names’ of ‘Electoral Bonds’ is a regressive step that paints process of Electoral Funding to Modi Government’s favourite colour: BLACK! Is it meant to stifle ‘transparency’ and give unlimited access to ruling party to misuse info and state machinery to coerce donors!” Surjewala tweeted.

In a bid to clean election financing, the government yesterday outlined contours of the new electoral bonds that donors can buy from SBI and said receiving political parties can encash only through a designated bank account. The electoral bonds, which are being pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties, will be available at specified branches of State Bank of India (SBI) for 10 days each in months of January, April, July and October.

The bonds, which would be valid for 15 days, will not carry the donor’s name even though the purchaser would have to fulfil KYC norms at the bank, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in the Lok Sabha.

Source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/withholding-donors-names-a-regressive-step-congress-on-electoral-bonds/article10010104.ece