"Many political parties have demanded state funding. We do not have direct funding of parties. There are certain in-direct benefits like free electoral rolls, free air-time on state-owned media, free space for registered offices in state capital and tax exemptions (for parties),” Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Nasim Zaidi
    
"EC is of the view that state funding should not be considered unless some radical reforms are accompanied in areas such as de-criminalisation of politics in a democracy in parties, holistic electoral finance reforms, robust transparency and audit and strict legal regime for enforcement of anti-corruption laws," he added while inaugurating a global conference on the influence of money in politics here.
    
If it (reforms) is not done, Zaidi said, the EC "suspects state funding will become one more additional tool, one more additional source of funds without reduction of use of illegal money in election campaign and this in a way can restrict the participation of right thinking citizens (in the polls process in the country)."
    
State funding of polls imply the government providing funds to parties and candidates to fight elections, replacing the existing system of ploughing in private or party funds for the job.

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