Published On: Thu, Feb 9th, 2017

Finding fault with every solution not taking us anywhere: Jaitley

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the government has come up with certain solutions to bring about transparency in electoral funding but if the opposition finds fault with every reform, “it will not take us anywhere”.

If we keep finding faults with every solution, it will result in the status quo

Replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on the Budget for 2017-18, Jaitley said some of the electoral reforms proposed in the Budget, such as the Rs 2,000 cap on funding through cash was proposed by the Election Commission and the government has adopted it.

In the Union Budget 2017-18, the government had fixed Rs 2,000 cap on the funds received through cash by a political party, and proposed electoral bonds to be purchased from banks.

A political party now doesn’t have to disclose the identity of the donor who is donating up to Rs 2,000. Earlier, this limit was Rs 20,000.

The opposition parties slammed both the proposals by the government, saying they have no merit.

“If we keep finding faults with every solution, it will result in the status quo, which is clearly not an ideal situation,” Jaitley said.

He said that the concept of electoral bonds has been designed to protect the identity of the donor, but to make the funding transparent and taxable.

“Many people donating to a political party usually don’t like to disclose their identity as they fear repercussions from rival political parties. Through purchasing electoral bonds, they can keep their identity secret, but the money would come on paper,” Jaitley said.

“This is what we have thought. If you have any suggestions to make, you are welcome. But don’t suggest a problem for every solution,” the Finance Minister said.

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