EC ponders over to ask govt defer cash transfer scheme

As Gujarat is going to polls on December 13 and 17, Election Commission is mulling over whether the government can be asked to hold over the process of implementation of the direct cash transfer scheme as it is receiving complaints saying that the announcement is a violation of the model code of conduct and is an inducement to voters in Gujarat

Though the government argued that scheme was announced well before the Gujarat/Himachal Pradesh Assembly poll announcement, and that the scheme will be implemented only on January 1, 2013, after the completion of the poll process in Gujarat, a number of officials in the EC think it can still be a violation of the code. As per them, the process of identifying the beneficiaries, helping them to open bank accounts and explaining the features of the scheme are being undertaken now.

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Rs. 2,490 cr: Tax-exempted income of parties in 5 years

In the last 5 years the tax-exempted income of the 10 main political parties has reached Rs. 2,490 crore.

Section 13A of IT Act 1961 exempts political parties from tax on their income. However, they have to maintain a book of account for donations or income above Rs. 20,000.

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