Corporate donations to parties in 2019-20 up by 143% compared to 2004-12

New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) During FY 2019-20, a total of Rs 921.95 crore was donated by all the corporate/business houses to the five national parties, constituting 91 per cent of the total contribution to political parties from known sources. The maximum donation was to the BJP.
According to an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an advocacy body for bringing in transparency in electoral politics, these donations have increased by 143 per cent from the period between 2004-12 to 2019-20.
The analysis was made on the basis of details submitted to the Electiom Commission of India by the parties of the donors who have made donations above Rs 20,000 in a financial year.
The report this time considered the BJP, the Indian National Congress (INC), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) and the All India Trinamool Congress only but not the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) did not consider it for analysis in this report as the party declared that it received no voluntary contributions above Rs 20,000 from any donor during this period or the time since 2004.
Out of the five national parties, BJP received the maximum donations of Rs 720.407 crore from 2,025 corporate donors followed by INC which received a total contribution of Rs 133.04 crore from 154 corporate donors, and NCP with Rs 57.086 crore from 36 corporate donors, the ADR said.
During FY 2019-20, the voluntary contributions above Rs 20,000 from corporate/business houses of INC, NCP and BJP formed 96 per cent, 95 per cent and 92 per cent, respectively. CPI declared no income from corporate donations for FY 2019-20.
These national parties have received the maximum corporate donations of Rs 921.95 crore in the FY 2019-20 (during which the 17th Lok Sabha elections were held); followed by Rs 881.26 crore in the FY 2018-19 and Rs 573.18 crore in the FY 2014-15 (during which the 16th Lok Sabha elections were held).
Corporate donations received in FY 2019-20 constituted 24.62 per cent of the total corporate donations received between FY 2012-13 and 2019-20. However, between FY 2012-13 and 2019-20, donations by corporates to national parties increased by 1,024 per cent, with a drop in the percentage of corporate donations in FY 2015-16.
Among the top corporate donors was Prudent Electoral Trust. It donated to two national parties, the BJP and INC, 38 times each, a total of Rs 247.75 crore, of which Rs 216.75 crore went to the BJP in the FY 2019-20.
B.G. Shirke Construction Technology Pvt. Ltd. was the top donor to NCP in FY 2019-20.
The contributions from corporate/business houses have been divided into 15 sectors/categories by ADR and do not form a part of the submission by the parties to ECI. The sectors include trusts and group of companies, manufacturing, power and oil, mining, construction, exports/imports, and real estate, among others.
During FY 2019-20, the BJP, INC, AITC and NCP received the maximum contributions from electoral trusts; the BJP received the highest, Rs 323.32 crore, followed by INC with Rs 71.00 crore, AITC with Rs 2.00 crore and NCP with Rs 1.50 crore, the ADR report said.
A total of 309 donations through which national parties received Rs 10.555 crore, do not have address details in the contribution form; Rs 13.91 crore was received from 144 donations, which do not have PAN details included in the contribution form while Rs 16.19 crore of the Rs 16.215 crore or 99.85 per cent of such donations were without PAN and address details belonged to the BJP.
Among the recommendations was that incomplete contributions’ reports must be returned to the parties by the ECI, to deter them from providing incomplete information as this report found out that a total of Rs 16.215 crore was collected by the national parties from 310 corporate donors without obtaining their PAN and address details.
The ADR had brought out similar reports earlier wherein, January 2014 report specified that various sectors of business houses in eight years, between FY 2004-05 and 2011-12, donated a total of Rs 378.89 crore to national parties, constituting 87 per cent of the total contribution from known sources of political parties.
The August 2017 report specified that various sectors of business houses in four years, between FY 2012-13 and 2015-16, donated a total of Rs 956.77 crore to national parties, constituting 89 per cent of the total contribution from known sources of political parties.
ADR’s July 2019 report showed that between FY 2016-17 and 2017-18, the various sectors of business houses donated a total of Rs 985.18 crore, constituting 93 per cent of the total contribution to political parties from known sources while the November 2020 report said, the donations from corporate to national parties during FY 2018-19, stood at a total of Rs 881.26 crore (93 per cent).

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