Combined food inflation stood at 14.72% for November 2013, up against 12.36% in October 2013....
Although political parties are required to submit details of donors who have made donations above Rs20,000 to the Election Commission, every year, they report that 75% of the donations are unknown
While 75% of the sources of funding for political parties are unknown, the latest study undertaken by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) shows that within the 25% of known funding sources, a whopping 87% comes from the corporates, mainly from trusts and groups of companies and the manufacturing sector.
The analysis by ADR put up on its website on 8th January shows that, out of Rs435.87 crore collected by national parties between the financial years 2004-05 and 2011-12, Rs378.89 crore was donated by corporates and business houses, thus constituting 87% of the total contribution from known sources of political parties. Since, except for the Indian National Congress and Communist Party of India (Marxist), no other national party has submitted its donations report for the financial year 2012-13, ADR’s report covers donations received from national parties only between FY05 and FY12.
In ADR’s earlier report of 13 September 2013, based on innumerable documents procured under Right to Information (RTI) from various relevant government departments, it was found that 75% of the sources of political parties is unknown. This, despite the fact, that, political parties are required to submit details of donors who have made donations above Rs20,000 in a financial year (between 1st April and 31st March) to the Election Commission of India, every year. Parties are required to provide details of the name, address, PAN, mode of payment and amount contributed by each donor who has made donation above Rs20,000. However, this is largely not adhered to.
The report shows that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received the maximum donations of Rs192.47 crore from 1,334 corporate donors followed by Congress which received Rs172.25 crore from 418 donors. The main donors to the Congress are Aditya Birla Group which donated Rs36.41 crore, Torrent Power Ltd which donated Rs11.85 crore and Bharti Group’s Bharti Electoral Trust which donated Rs11 crore. The BJP too received generosity from the Aditya Birla Group which donated Rs26.57 crore and Torrent Power Ltd which donated Rs13 crore. It also received Rs10 crore from Asianet V Holding Pvt Ltd. Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) received Rs1 crore each from Ambuja Cement, Hindustan Construction Co Ltd and Infina Finance Pvt Ltd.
The report states, “the maximum number of donations was made by the manufacturing sector (595 donations, Rs99.71 crore) followed by 340 donations (Rs24.10 crore) from the real-estate sector. The least number of donations was made by the hospitals (16 donations, Rs14 lakh) followed by 45 donations each by the shipping and transport (Rs3.67 crore) and communication sectors (Rs13.26 crore) to the national parties.”
The corporates’ inclination towards Narendra Modi-driven BJP is reflected in the maximum number of donations to BJP. The report states: “Out of the national parties, BJP received the maximum donations of Rs192.47 crore from 1,334 donors from corporate/ business sector followed by Congress receiving a total contribution of Rs172.25 crore from 418 donors from corporate/ business sector.’’
Although foreign funding is banned for political parties, the report states, “A total of Rs29.26 crores was accepted by Congress and BJP together between 2003-04 and 2011-12. ADR has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court to take action against the two largest national parties, Congress and BJP.’’
A total of Rs105.86 crores was donated by six Electoral Trusts to the national parties.
The ADR recommends that, “the Supreme Court gave a judgment on 13 September 2013, declaring that no part of a candidate affidavit should be left blank. Similarly, no part of the Form 24A submitted by political parties providing details of donations above Rs20,000, should be blank; all donors who have donated a minimum of Rs20,000 as a single or multiple donations should provide their PAN details and; details of donors who make donations to the Electoral Trusts should be available in the public domain to increase transparency in funding of political parties.’’
Until any stringent measures are taken by the government in implementing the strict norms of political funding, unaccounted money will continue to be the fuel of election campaigning.
Number of donations made by corporate/ business sectors:
Maximum number of donations was made by the manufacturing sector (595 donations, Rs99.71 crore) followed by 340 donations (Rs24.10 crore) from real-estate sector
Least number of donations was made by the hospitals (16 donations, Rs14 lakh) followed by 45 donations each by the shipping and transport (Rs3.67 crore) and communication sectors (Rs13.26 crore) to the national parties
Top corporate donors to national parties
Congress: General Electoral Trust of the Aditya Birla Group donated the maximum amount (Rs36.41 crore) followed by Torrent Power Ltd (Rs11.85 crore) and Bharti Electoral Trust of Bharti Group (Rs11 crore)
BJP: General Electoral Trust of the Aditya Birla Group donated the maximum amount (Rs26.57 crore) followed by Torrent Power Ltd (Rs13 crore) and Asianet V Holding Pvt Ltd (Rs10 crore)
NCP: Ambuja cement donated the maximum (Rs1 crore) followed by Hindustan Construction Co Ltd (Rs1 crore) and Infina Finance Pvt Ltd (Rs1 crore)
CPI and CPM: CPI received a total of Rs11 lakh from 13 corporate donors while CPM received a total of Rs1.78 crore from 108 corporate/ business houses
Political parties which received maximum contributions from various sectors:
Congress received maximum contributions from trusts & group of companies (Rs70.28 crore), while BJP received maximum donation from manufacturing sector (Rs58.18 crore) and power and oil (Rs17.06 crore)
Maximum donations from mining, construction, export/ import sector was received by Congress (Rs23.07 crore) while maximum donations from the real estate sector was received by BJP (Rs17.01 crore)
Donors who have not declared PAN and address:
A total of 301 donors contributing Rs25.28 crore to the national parties have not declared either their PAN details or address in the contribution form
BJP has the listed the maximum number of donors (273) who have not declared their PAN and address while contributing a maximum of Rs22.53 crore
Donors who have not declared their mode of payment:
Mode of payment of donations by 58 donors who have donated Rs1.02 crores to the national parties have not been declared by the national parties
Recommendations of ADR
The Supreme Court gave a judgment on 13 September 2013, declaring that no part of a candidate affidavit should be left blank. Similarly, no part of the Form 24A submitted by political parties providing details of donations above Rs20,000, should be blank
All donors who have donated a minimum of Rs20,000 as a single or multiple donations should provide their PAN details
Political parties are not permitted to accept contributions from foreign companies or companies controlled in India by foreign companies but a total of Rs 29.26 crores was accepted by Congress and BJP together between FY 2003-04 and 2011-12. ADR has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court to take action against the two largest national parties, Congress and BJP
A total of Rs105.86 crore was donated by six Electoral Trusts to the national parties. ADR recommends that the details of donors who make donations to the Electoral Trusts should be available in the public domain to increase transparency in funding of political parties.
Here is the ADR report on political donations…
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)
According to ZyFin Research’s indicator there may be a moderate IIP expansion in January
ZyFin Research, a financial research and analytics company, expects moderate expansion in Index of Industrial Production (IIP) during January. ZyFin’s Business Cycle Indicator (BCI) as of December 2013 stood at 4.7%, compared to 4.2% registered in November 2013. This was led by improving foreign trade statistics with a rise in container cargo handled by Indian ports, slight decline in petrol import bill and forex reserves.
“There have been some early indications of improvement in consumer demand as measured by Zyfin’s Consumer Outlook Index for December. If this trend sustains in the near future, the looming risk of rising inventory can be averted lending itself into a steep recovery in industrial activity. We need to keep a close watch on how consumer demand evolves in 2014,” said Debopam Chaudhuri, vice president of research and development, ZyFin Research.
According to ZyFin Research the BCI indicates the state of the Indian business cycle more than two months in advance of the release of the IIP, and eliminates the lag associated with the IIP data, allowing reliable and advance detection of turns in the business cycle. A continuous uptrend for three months in BCI signifies an improving business cycle and vice versa.
The key highlights of ZyFin Research Business Cycle Indicator (BCI) for December 2013 are:
BCI (INBFBCI) is an independent, real-time indicator of the business cycle in India. BCI is a monthly composite indicator of primary and secondary micro variables provides timely information on the state of business cycle in the Indian economy.