State Funding of Political Parties

State Funding of Political Parties

To deal with the issue of funding of Political Parties, State Funding of Political Parties can be used. This practice is used in many countries like Britain and various commissions and committees like Indrajit Gupta Committee, 255th Law Commission Report  & 2nd ARC Report have also recommended this.

Points in favour of State Funding

  • State funding can limit the influence of wealthy people and control Crony Capitalism
  • Creates equal playing field for small and big political parties . Corporates never fund  smaller political parties .
  • In return for giving state funding, state can demand reasonable perquisites like transparency , internal democracy in party, women representations, representations of weaker section etc
  • Various committees including Indrajit Gupta Committee 1998, Law Commission of India, 2nd ARC, National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, have favoured state funding
  • In India, with high level of poverty, ordinary citizens cannot be expected to contribute much to the political parties. Therefore, the parties depend upon funding by corporate and rich individuals.  

Points against State Funding

  • Tax payers are forced to support even those political parties , whose view they don’t subscribe to.
  • State funding encourages status quo  and makes it difficult for the new parties.
  • State funding increases the distance between political leaders and ordinary citizens as leaders do not depend on the citizens for mobilization of party fund.
  • Political parties tend to become organs of the state, rather than being parts of the civil society
  • Difficult to ensure that Parties are not taking funds apart from State Funds even after getting State funds (Election Commission of India also admitted this)

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