KATHMANDU, April 19: In its bid to ensure political transparency, the Election Commission has asked business people to make donations to the parties for the upcoming local-level elections only through formal banking channels.
During their talks with business community representatives, tax officers and other stakeholders concerned, the election commissioners asked the business persons to use the banking system while making donations of more than Rs 5,000.
"Parties have to maintain transparency in elections," said election commissioner Narendra Dahal.
Nepal's electoral law and code of conduct prepared by the Election Commission have clearly stated that any donor should use formal banking channels for donation. "They must abide by the election code of conduct," said Dahal.
Chandra Prasad Dhakal, vice-president of the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the EC's move. "They [the business people] are ready to comply with the direction," said Dhakal, adding this will help make the elections fair.
When asked about the amount being donated to parties for the upcoming election, Dhakal said it's complicated to estimate the amount as this election is happening after nearly two decades.
Businesses pour a huge amount of money into parties, but it goes unaccounted in the absence of strict donation policy, according to an election officer.
Nepal's political parties, according to the Transparency International, are the most corrupt institutions in the country, followed by police, parliament, judiciary, private sector, educational institutions, NGOs, the health sector and religious institutions.