ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has sought, from the political parties, their wealth statements for the last financial year 2022-2023, a mandatory requirement under the relevant electoral laws, latest by the 29th of this month.

To this effect, political parties are required to submit, by the given deadline, their consolidated statements of accounts for the last financial year that started on July 1, 2022, and ended on June 30, 2023, the electoral body said on Thursday.

The Section 210 of the Elections Act 2017 provides that a political party shall, in such a manner as may be prescribed, submit to the commission, within 60 days from the close of a financial year, a consolidated statement of its accounts audited by a chartered accountant on Form-D containing: (a) annual income and expenses; (b) sources of its funds; and (c) assets and liabilities.

The Section 210 further reads that the statement to be submitted to the ECP shall accompany the report of a chartered accountant with regard to the audit of accounts of a political party and a certificate signed by an office-bearer authorised by the party head stating that - (a) no funds from any source prohibited under the Elections Act 2017 were received by the political party; and (b) the statement contains an accurate financial position of the political party.

The Section 204 of the Elections Act 2017 reads, “Membership fee, contributions and donations. (1) A member of a political party shall be required to pay a membership fee, if provided in the political party’s constitution and may, in addition, make contributions or donations towards the political party’s funds. (2) The fee, contribution or donation made by a member or a supporter of a political party shall be duly recorded by that political party. (3) Any contribution or donation made, directly or indirectly, by any foreign source including any foreign government, multinational or public or private company, firm, trade or professional association or individual shall be prohibited. (4) Any contribution or donation which is prohibited under this Act shall be confiscated in favour of the government in such manner as may be prescribed.

Explanation: For the purpose of this section - (a) ‘Contribution or donation’ includes a contribution or donation made in cash, kind, stocks, transport, fuel and provision of other such facilities; and (b) ‘Foreign source’ shall not include an overseas Pakistani holding a national identity card for overseas Pakistanis issued by the National Database and Registration Authority.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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