The EC is not in favor of state funding for elections.

NEW DELHI: The Indian Election Commission (ECI) is not in favor of, as it will not be able to prohibit or control the candidates' own expenses beyond what is provided by the states, Lok Sabha said Monday.

In a written response, the Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur, said that the opinion of the ECI is that to address the real problems, there must be radical changes in the provisions on the income of the funds by the political parties and the how these funds are spent by them to provide total transparency in the matter.

The Electoral Commission has informed the Government that it is not in favor of state funding, since it cannot prohibit or control the expenses of the candidates or the expenses of others beyond what the state provides, the minister said. .

Thakur also said that to discourage cash transactions and provide transparency in the funding sources of political parties, the government amended the Income Tax Law and limited anonymous cash donations to Rs 2,000.

The government introduced the '2018 Voucher Plan' to establish a transparent political financing system in the country with a well-established audit trail.

In another response, he said that the number of evaluators who filed income tax returns (ITR) has steadily increased during each of the last three years, as well as in the current year.

According to the data provided by him, the total number of electronic returns (excluding revised returns) was Rs 5.18 million in the 2016-17 evaluation year and Rs 6.35 million during the evaluation year (up to February 15, 2020).

Late returns of AY 2019-20 can be presented until March 31, 2020, therefore, this number will increase further, said the minister.

Thakur said that the Department of Income Taxes has implemented the Non-Declarant Monitoring System (NMS) that assimilates and analyzes internal information, as well as transactional data received from third parties to identify those people/entities that have made financial transactions of high value but have not submitted their statements.

The number of non-declarants with possible tax obligations identified in the last three years of evaluation was 33 lakh, 38.81 lakh and 15.58 lakh.