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The Election Commission on Friday notified new guidelines making it mandatory for political parties to deposit their funds in banks and not to exceed ceiling limits in financial assistance for candidates to ensure transparency and accountability.
The new guidelines issued under Article 324 of the Constitution through which EC derives its powers also makes it mandatory for the parties to maintain accounts at all levels — national, state and lower level.
The guidelines also say that the accounts maintained by the treasurer shall conform to the guidance note on accounting and auditing of political parties issued by the Institute of Charted Accountants. The annual accounts shall be audited and certified by the qualified by certified charted accountants as required under the Income Tax Act.
Under the guidelines, a party should ensure that no payment in excess of Rs 20,000 is made to any person or company in cash, except in a village or in town not served by a bank.
Also it will not apply to payments made to any employee or party functionary towards salary, pension or reimbursement of expenses or where cash payment is required under any statute.