1. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties? - India

1. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties?

"Political parties entitled to accept contribution-Provided that no political party shall be eligible to accept any contribution from any foreign source defined under clause (e) of section 2 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 1976" (Representation of the People Act, 1951)

"No foreign contribution shall be accepted by any--political party or office bearer" (Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010)

Even when foreign contribution to political parties is banned, the Government of India changed the definition of a foreign company by amending the Foreign Contribution (Regulations) Act, 2010 through the Finance Bill 2016. 

The amendments include the following: 

“Provided that where the nominal value of share capital is within the limits specified for foreign investment under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, or the rules or regulations made thereunder, then, notwithstanding the nominal value of share capital of a company being more than one-half of such value at the time of making the contribution, such company shall not be a foreign source" (Finance Bill 2016).

Owing to a retroactive amendment to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) 2010 through the Finance Bill 2016, the foreign funds received by political parties after September 26, 2010, were validated whereas the funds before this date could still come under scrutiny. To fix this lacuna, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) government introduced another amendment in the 2018 Finance Act, to cover the period beginning August 5, 1976—the date the original FCRA law came into existence.




Representation of the People Act, 1951. 

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010

Finance Bill 2016. 

Finance Act, No. 13 of 2018, http://egazette.nic.in/writereaddata/2018/184302.pdf  , archived at https://perma.cc/UE8P-RNKW .

Ahmad, Tariq (2019) Regulation of Foreign Involvement in Elections, The Law Library of Congress. Available at https://www.loc.gov/law/help/elections/foreign-involvement/india.php  (Accessed: 30 March 2020).