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Vedanta cuts political donations in India by half

On Friday, the Delhi HC said the BJP and Congress prima facie violated foreign funding rules by receiving donations from Vedanta's subsidiaries

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 


Donations by mining conglomerate Vedanta Resources to Indian political parties were cut by half to $0.97 million (about Rs 5 crore) in 2012-13.

The company promoted by billionaire Anil Agarwal had contributed $2.01 million to political parties in India in 2011-12, according to the London-listed firm’s annual report for 2012-13. “The Board believes that supporting the political process in India will encourage and strengthen the democratic process,” the company said in the annual report, without disclosing the beneficiaries.

According to annual reports of Vedanta's listed subsidiary firms, Sesa Goa paid Rs 30 lakh to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2012-13, while Sterlite Industries gave Rs 5 crore to the Public and Political Awareness Trust, set up by the group to make political donations.

In August 2013, Vedanta merged both subsidiaries and some other group into a new entity, Sesa Sterlite. Sesa Goa's annual report showed its political donations dropped significantly in 2012-13 to Rs 30 lakh from Rs 4.65 crore in 2011-12 as its operations were hit by a mining ban.

Sesa Goa made donations to the Congress (Rs 2 crore), BJP (Rs 1.75 crore), Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (Rs 50 lakh), All India Trinamool Congress (Rs 15 lakh) and Nationalist Congress Party (Rs 25 lakh) during 2011-12. A Vedanta spokesperson did not reply to queries. Vedanta donated $5.69 million (about Rs 28 crore) to political parties in India between 2009-10 and 2011-12. This includes $3.66 million during 2009-10, when the previous general elections were held. Since listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2003, the company has donated $8.29 million to Indian political parties, compilation of data from its annual reports showed.

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First Published: Mon, March 31 2014. 00:46 IST