Donations to BJP far more than to other parties: ADR

Donations declared by BJP is more than thrice the aggregate declared by the INC, NCP, CPI, CPM and AITC for the same period.

GN Bureau | December 21, 2016


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 The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) collected Rs 76.85 crores from 613 donations in the year 2015-16, which is the highest among all political parties. Indian National Congress (INC) party received Rs 20.42 crore from 918 donations, said a report by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW). 

The report highlighted that donations declared by the BJP is more than thrice the aggregate declared by the INC, NCP, CPI, CPM and AITC for the same period.  BSP, on the other hand, declared that the party did not receive any donations above Rs 20,000 during 2015-16.
The national parties include BJP, the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) and All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).
 
The ADR report also noted that the national parties have witnessed a decrease in donations by Rs 528.67 crore, which is 84 percent decline from the previous year.  Total donation, above Rs 20,000, collected by the national political parties during the year 2015-16 was Rs. 102.02 crore from 1,744 donations.
 

NCP declared the highest decrease of 98 percent from Rs 38.82 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 71 lakh in 2015-16, while donations to BJP decreased by 82 percent, from Rs 437.35 crore during 2014-15 to Rs 76.85 crore during 2015-16.
 
Interestingly, BJP’s donations had witnessed a jump by 156 percent during 2014-15 compared to 2013-14, while that of INC had increased by 137 percent during the same period, the report noted.
 
Based on the donations report submitted to the Election Commission annually, ADR focused on donations received by the national political parties above Rs 20,000 during the financial year 2015-16. 
 
Cash donations to political parties have reduced in the year 2015-16. Out of the total donation of Rs 102.02 crore, Rs 1.45 crore from 112 donations was received in cash, which formed only 1.42 percent of the total donations of the parties.
 
Among national political parties, INC collected maximum donation in cash, which was Rs 1.17 crore from 10 states and union territories. It was followed by CPI with Rs 22.22 lakh from 12 states and UTs.
 

The reduction in cash donation was the result of ECI notification in 2014, disallowing tax deduction on cash contributions to political parties.  
 Out of total donations, 359 donors from the corporate sector contributed 75.75 percent, amounting to Rs 77.28 crore, while 1,322 individual donors made 22.95 percent of total donations, amounting to Rs 23.41 crore.
 
Incomplete disclosure of information in the donations 
 
The report observed that of the seven national parties, BJP, INC, CPI and NCP had not declared PAN details of 473 donations through which the parties collected a total of Rs 11.68 crore. INC collected Rs 8.11 crore from 318 donations but failed to provide PAN details of donors while BJP collected Rs 2.19 crore from 71 donations without PAN, the report noted.
 
CPM has also not adhered to the format specified by the ECI for submission of donations report, the report noted. The party has not provided details of mode of contributions of any of its 61 donations. 
 

Report observations
 
The report observed that there is ambiguity in details of donations declared by the national parties for 2015-16. 
 
During 2014-15, in the report submitted by INC, the column for declaring mode of contribution did not contain the cheque/DD numbers, for 192 donations amounting to Rs 138.98 crore. This formed 98 percent of total donations above Rs 20,000 to the party.
 
The Congress declared receiving Rs 8.11 crore during 2015-16 from 318 such donors whose PAN details were unavailable. Of the total fund, 49 percent came from individuals who donated Rs 3.99 crore and 51 percent from corporate donors who donated Rs 4.12 crore.
Such blatant disregard for rules by the political parties should be curbed and donations with incomplete details should not be entitled to the benefit of 100 percent tax exemptions of the defaulting parties, the report stressed.
 
The BJP declared Rs 83.915 lakh donations received during 2014-15 from 20 such donors whose PAN details, address and mode of contribution (together) were unavailable. Thus, only names of such donors and the contributed amount were declared by the party. Seventy three percent of such funds came from corporates and 27 percent from individual donors. BJP collected Rs 2.19 crore from 71 donations without declaring PAN details in its report submitted for 2015-16.

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