Corporate Donations to Parties in 2019-20 Up by 143% Compared to 2004-12
During FY19-20, a total of Rs921.95 crore was donated by all the corporate/business houses to the five national parties, constituting 91% 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% 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 Rs20,000 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 Rs20,000 from any donor during this period or the time since 2004.
 
Out of the five national parties, BJP received the maximum donations of Rs720.407 crore from 2,025 corporate donors followed by INC which received a total contribution of Rs133.04 crore from 154 corporate donors, and NCP with Rs57.086 crore from 36 corporate donors, the ADR said.
 
During FY19-20, the voluntary contributions above Rs20,000 from corporate/business houses of INC, NCP and BJP formed 96%, 95% and 92%, respectively. CPI declared no income from corporate donations for FY19-20.
 
These national parties have received the maximum corporate donations of Rs921.95 crore in the FY19-20 (during which the 17th Lok Sabha elections were held); followed by Rs881.26 crore in the FY18-19 and Rs573.18 crore in the FY14-15 (during which the 16th Lok Sabha elections were held).
 
Corporate donations received in FY19-20 constituted 24.62% of the total corporate donations received between FY12-13 and 2019-20. However, between FY12-13 and 2019-20, donations by corporates to national parties increased by 1,024%, with a drop in the percentage of corporate donations in FY15-16.
 
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 Rs247.75 crore, of which Rs216.75 crore went to the BJP in the FY19-20.
 
BG Shirke Construction Technology Pvt. Ltd. was the top donor to NCP in FY19-20.
 
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, Rs323.32 crore, followed by INC with Rs71.00 crore, AITC with Rs2.00 crore and NCP with Rs1.50 crore, the ADR report said.
 
A total of 309 donations through which national parties received Rs10.555 crore, do not have address details in the contribution form; Rs13.91 crore was received from 144 donations, which do not have PAN details included in the contribution form while Rs16.19 crore of the Rs16.215 crore or 99.85% 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 Rs16.215 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 FY04-05 and 2011-12, donated a total of Rs378.89 crore to national parties, constituting 87% 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 FY12-13 and 2015-16, donated a total of Rs956.77 crore to national parties, constituting 89% of the total contribution from known sources of political parties.
 
ADR's July 2019 report showed that between FY16-17 and 2017-18, the various sectors of business houses donated a total of Rs985.18 crore, constituting 93% of the total contribution to political parties from known sources while the November 2020 report said, the donations from corporate to national parties during FY18-19, stood at a total of Rs881.26 crore (93%).
 
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