Corporate donors made up over 92 per cent of all donations to political parties
GN Bureau | December 8, 2015
Being a ruling party helps, or it seems so. The Bharatiya Janata Party has declared that it had received Rs. 437 crore in the form of donations in 2014-15. This amount is twice the combined total declared by other national parties, — the Congress, the NCP, the CPI(M), the CPI and the BSP.
Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch analysed the mandatory disclosures of donations submitted by political parties to the Election Commission of India came up with these figures.
Corporate donors made up over 92 per cent of all donations to political parties. Donations to the CPI were by means of collection, levy and membership fees.
Bharti Group’s Satya Electoral Trust was the top donor across parties, giving a total of Rs. 132 crore to the BJP, the INC and the NCP; the Trust donated Rs. 107.25 crore to the BJP — a quarter of the total funds received by the party, and another Rs. 18.75 crore to the INC.
The Aditya Birla Group’s General Electoral Trust came next with Rs. 117.30 crore to the BJP and the INC.
Donations to political parties are tax exempt, and under The Representation of the People Act, parties must submit details of all donations of over Rs. 20,000 received by them every year to the ECI.
The BSP has consistently claimed that all the donations it receives are under Rs. 20,000, and as a result, as in previous years, did not submit any information. All parties reported an increase in the donations they received compared to the previous year — the increase was highest in the case of the NCP (177 per cent) and the BJP (156 per cent).
It has been revealed that several donors’ address details and PAN numbers are not submitted by political parties. This year, Rs. 84 lakh of the BJP’s donations came from donors without such details. The Congress, meanwhile, has not submitted cheque numbers for donations that amount to nearly 98 per cent of all donations over Rs. 20,000.
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