Congress workers will now be asked to contribute Rs.250 annually to the party, in an apparent move to tide over the resource crunch.

Each worker will be asked to contribute the amount every year as the party plans to make itself self-sufficient, AICC treasurer Motilal Vora told PTI.

The Congress veteran said, 25 per cent of the contributions so made will go the Pradesh Congress Committees and 75 per cent to the AICC.

He indicated the plan will be set in motion once the membership drive, which is underway, concludes. Party’s organisational polls, which were to start last month, have been put on hold till further orders.

At present, each party MP and MLA is required to pay one month’s salary to the organisation, while each AICC member has to contribute Rs.600 annually to the party coffer. A PCC member has to contribute Rs.300 to the state unit.

The new rule will make it mandatory for all state units to distribute 50 per cent of the contributions received by them to the district units.

Some 12 years back, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had constitued a committee on party’s finances under Manmohan Singh when the party was in the opposition at the Centre.

The committee, which had found the prevailing provisions concerning contributions from active members cumbersome and impractical, had made several suggestions.

It had recommended that every active member shall collect or contribute directly to the PCC a sum of Rs.100 per year.

The panel had recommended that the pattern of distribution of contributions be retained at 75 per cent for AICC, 12.5 per cent for PCC and the balance 12.5 per cent to the DCCs.

As there were an estimated 11 lakh active members at that time, the party expected to raise about Rs.11 crore a year from them alone. "This amount is more than sufficient to run the entire Congress organization comfortably in a non-election year," it had concluded.

Acutely aware of the need to raise finances for the party from within in order to not become captive to money power, the Manmohan Singh Committee had come out with the recommendations to reinforce the mass-based, pro-poor character of the Congress.