Voluntary contribution to parties increased
Thimphu, February 03: The Election Commission has raised the volunteer contribution to the political parties by 500 percent — up from Nu 100,000 to Nu 500,000, a notice by the commission said.
According to a notice that an EC official mailed to Bhutan News Service, the commission has decided to raise the maximum ceiling for voluntary contribution by individual per year from the date of registration of every Political Party.
The new ceiling for voluntary contribution will also apply to any new political party from the date of its registration, which looks impossible for now. The commission has also allowed the parties to review their membership fees.
This is modification to the commission’s notice issued on February 12, 2008. The effective time period for the existing two Political Parties will be applied from the date of their registration i.e. September 1 and October 2 2007 for PDP and DPT respectively.
Notice further says, the scrutiny and audit of the accounts of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) up to end June 2008 and Election Returns pertaining to the first Parliamentary Elections, as well as their review by the Election Commission have been completed.
Political parties are given extended date up to end February 2009 to confirm and verify the names of the members as both parties were found guilty of contravening Section 76 of the Public Election Fund Act as they have accepted contributions without confirming the voters against registration in the Electoral Roll. It has also directed the parties to clear all financial liabilities within the next four financial years i.e. by 30 June 2012 while being required not to incur any more dues to non-permissible sources.
It asked PDP to pay and produce, at the earliest, the receipt from tax authorities for the Tax Deducted at Source, which the party has not done for the Statutory Deductions (TDS/ HC) and Provident Fund totaling a sum of Nu. 1,11,785.57. Further, the party is asked to adjust the outstanding advances made to its Dzongkhag offices before end February.
The parties are also told to submit proof of transfer of the ownership of the vehicles purchased by them in the names of the respective parties not later than end February.
The commission said the decision are taken in due recognition of the fact that the political parties crucial to democracy are being formed for the first time; the familiarization tours, although unforeseen was necessary; fixed assets form more than 10 percent of total audited expenditures of the parties; State financing shall not be forthcoming under any circumstance; Parties must be held responsible for paying off their debts and liabilities; and there is need to strengthen the financial capacity of the two existing parties while motivating the formation of new ones. Bhutan News Service