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BJP largest recipient of corporate donations, realtors top list: ADR

The Congress party received a total contribution of Rs 198.16 crore from 167 corporate donors

Archis Mohan  |  New Delhi 

BJP, Congress, government

Corporate houses donated a total of Rs 956.77 crore to parties between 2012-13 and 2015-16, constituting 89 per cent of the total contribution from known sources, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) receiving the maximum Rs 705.81 crore from 2987 corporate donors, according to election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

From 2012-13 and 2015-16, five parties received a total of Rs 1,070.68 crore via voluntary contributions above Rs 20,000, out of which 89 per cent of Rs 956.77 crore was from corporates/business houses, said.

The party received a total contribution of Rs 198.16 crore from 167 corporate donors during this period, the said. It said that during the period analysed, BJP's and Congress's voluntary contributions above Rs 20,000 from corporate/business houses was 92 per cent and 85 per cent respectively. The Nationalist Party (NCP) received Rs 50.73 crore from 40 corporate donors.

Among the five parties, the Left parties, (Marxist) and (CPI), had the lowest share of corporate donations at 17 per cent and 4 per cent respectively. The (M) received Rs 1.89 crore from 45 donors and received Rs 0.18 crore from 17 donors. The (BSP) was not considered for analysis in the report as the party has declared that it received no voluntary contributions above Rs 20,000 from any donor during the period.

Political parties are required to submit details of donors who have made donations above Rs 20,000 in a financial year (between 1st April and 31st March) to the Election Commission of India, every year. Parties provide details of the name, address, (Permanent Account Number), mode of payment and amount contributed by each donor who has made donation above Rs 20,000 in their submission.

The said parties received the maximum corporate donations in FY 2014-15, during which Lok Sabha elections were held. Corporate donations received in FY 2014-15 alone constitute 60 per cent of the total corporate donations received between FY 2012-13 and 2015-16. Donations from corporates to parties reduced by 86.58 per cent between FY 2014-15 and 2015-16.

According to a Supreme Court order of September 13, 2013, no part of a candidate's affidavit should be left blank. Similarly, no part of the Form 24A submitted by political parties providing details of donations above Rs 20,000, should be blank. All donors who have donated a minimum of Rs 20,000 as a single or multiple donations should provide their details.

BJP fund graph
Source: Analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms
Date on which the donation was made should be recorded by the party and submitted in Form 24A. Any party which does not submit its donation statement to the ECI on or before 31st Oct should be heavily penalized and its income should not be tax-exempted.

The report said a total of 1,933 donations through which parties received Rs 384.04 crore do not have details in the contribution form. parties have received Rs 355.08 crore from 1,546 donations which do not have address details in the contribution form, it said. "99 per cent of such donations without and address details worth Rs 159.59 crore belong to BJP," the report said. "Such incomplete contributions reports must be returned to the parties by the ECI, to deter them from providing incomplete information," it said.

Political parties reported receiving 262 donations worth Rs 10.48 crore from such corporate entities who have zero internet presence or if they do, there is ambiguity about the nature of their work, said.

The said corporates should make details of their political contributions available in public domain through their websites (in annual reports or in a dedicated page) for increasing transparency in political financing. Annual scrutiny of donations reports of national, regional and unrecognized parties should be initiated by a dedicated department of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to discourage donations from shell companies or illegal entities.

According to an earlier report by ADR, various business houses donated a total of Rs 378.89 crore to parties, constituting 87 per cent of the total contribution from known sources in eight years, between financial years 2004-05 and 2011-12.

"Despite not donating during 2012-13, Satya Electoral Trust was the top donor to three of the parties, between 2012-13 and 2015-16. The Trust donated a total of 35 number of times in 3 years, amounting to Rs 260.87 crore" said. The declared receiving Rs 193.62 crore while the was recipient of Rs 57.25 crore of funds from the Trust.

The General Electoral Trust, which was formed before the Electoral Trust Scheme was launched by the government in 2013, was the second highest corporate donor to the and

From 2012-13 and 2015-16, the Trust donated Rs 70.7 crore and Rs 54.1 crore to the two parties, respectively, said.

The top donors to the Communist parties were 'Associations' or 'Unions'. The received a total of Rs 14.64 lakh from 15 different associations/unions while CPM received a total of Rs 1.09 crore from seven different associations.

Contributions from corporate/business houses have been divided into 14 sectors by and does not form a part of the submission made by parties to ECI. The sectors include Trusts and group of companies, manufacturing, oil and power, mining, construction, exports/imports, real estate, among others.

Real estate sector was the biggest donor to the parties during 2012-13, contributing Rs 16.95 crore. Trusts and groups of companies with varied interests in mining, real estate, power and newspapers, among others, donated the highest amount of Rs 419.69 crore, between 2013-14 to 2015-16, to the parties.

The received the highest, Rs 287.69 crore from Trusts and group of companies, followed by the (Rs 129.16 crore) and NCP (Rs 15.78 crore). The received the highest donations from all 14 sectors including real estate (Rs 105.20 crore), mining, construction, exports/imports (Rs 83.56 crore), chemicals/pharmaceuticals (Rs 31.94 crore), among others.

First Published: Fri, August 18 2017. 08:30 IST