'Non-serious' parties misusing benefits: panel

'Non-serious' parties misusing benefits: panel

The mushrooming of “non-serious” political parties have prompted a parliamentary panel to recommend stringent laws to prevent the misuse of tax cuts and other benefits given to such outfits.

The recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice came after the Election Commission (EC) informed the panel about how there has been an increase in the number of parties over the years.

“Some do not exist on the ground. Some have never contested the election and some others have been formed and registered only to take tax benefits from the government,” the panel said in its report which was tabled in Parliament last week.
It also said that some of these parties are not complying with the guidelines of the Election Commission with respect to submitting audited accounts.

The EC has deregistered 255 parties out of the total 1864 as they existed only on paper and had never contested any election since their formation.

They were removed from the list of registered unrecognised parties. Registered parties can avail tax benefits and some of them were found to be misusing this provision in the law.

The committee, headed by Congress MP Anand Sharma, felt that the provisions relating to the registration of parties need to be made “more stringent so that non-serious political parties are not able to register in the first place” and if registered, their registration should be cancelled.

“The possibility of regulating registration of political parties and suspension/cancellation of their registration through a law of Parliament may also be explored to prevent misuse of facilities/benefits available to registered political parties by unscrupulous elements,” it said.

DH News Service

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