Legal obligation: Political parties asked to submit asset details

Statements will reveal the amount spent on election campaigns.

Our Correspondent July 11, 2013
Statements will reveal the amount spent on election campaigns. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday asked political parties to submit details of their bank accounts, assets and liabilities for financial year 2012-13 before August 29.

According to law, heads of all the political parties registered with the ECP are required to submit statements of accounts of the party every year.

The statements, duly audited by a chartered accountant, should include annual income and expenses, sources of funds, assets and liabilities in the name of a political party.

Moreover, under Article 13 of the Political Parties Order, 2002, party’s statement of accounts should be accompanied by a certificate signed by the party leader stating that no funds from any source prohibited under Political Parties Order, 2002, were received by the party.

Since general elections were held during the period for which political parties will be filing their asset details, it will reveal which party spent how much in their election campaign.

The law is usually flouted by the political parties and the condition of submitting details of accounts is not taken more than a mere cosmetic exercise. Some leading political parties during the past five years showed meagre amounts of only few thousand rupees in their party accounts.

Statement of accounts is submitted in Form-I as prescribed under the Political Parties Rules, 2002. ECP in its notification said these forms are available free of cost, in the Election Commission Secretariat, Islamabad and in the offices of the provincial election commissioners, Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

It said that the statements should be delivered to the secretary, election commission in the election commission secretariat through an office bearer of the party, duly authorised by the party leader. As per provisions of rule 11 of the Political Parties Rules, 2002, statement received through post, fax, courier service or any other mode is not entertained it added.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.

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