Political Parties Received Rs258.43 Crore Donation from 7 Electoral Trusts
Seven electoral trusts, which have declared receiving contributions during FY20-21, have got a total amount of Rs258.49 crore from corporates and individuals and distributed Rs258.43 crore (99.97%) to various political parties, an analysis released on Thursday said.
 
Top 10 donors have donated Rs223.00 crore to Electoral Trusts, which forms 86.27% of the total donations received by the trusts during FY20-21 and BJP received Rs212.05 crore or 82.05% of the total donations received by all political parties from electoral trusts.
 
The major parties that received donations include BJP, JDU, INC, NCP, AIADMK, DMK, RJD, AAP, LJP, CPM, CPI and Loktantrik Janta Dal, the analysis by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) said.
 
Future Gaming & Hotel Services contributed the highest amount worth Rs100 crore amongst all donors of the Electoral Trusts, followed by Haldia Energy India Ltd with Rs25 crore and Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Limited which contributed Rs22 crore, to various Trusts.
 
As many as 159 individuals have contributed to electoral trusts in FY20-21: Two individuals contributed Rs3.50 crore to Prudent Electoral Trust, 153 individuals contributed Rs3.202 crore to Small Donations Electoral Trust, three individuals gave a total of Rs5 lakh to Einzigartig Electoral Trust and one individual contributed Rs1,100 to Independent Electoral Trust, ADR said in a statement.
 
Top 10 donors have donated Rs223.00 crore to Electoral Trusts, which forms 86.27% of the total donations received by the trusts during FY20-21.
 
Prudent Electoral Trust donated Rs209.00 crore to BJP, in contrast to Rs217.75 crore contributed in FY19-20, while Jaybharath Electoral Trust donated Rs2.00 crore of its total income to BJP in FY20-21.
 
Electoral Trust donated Rs3.31 crore to INC. Prudent Electoral Trust donated to seven political parties, including major parties such as BJP, JDU, INC, NCP, RJD, AAP & LJP.
 
BJP received Rs212.05 crore or 82.05% of the total donations received by all political parties from electoral trusts while JDU received Rs27 crore or 10.45% of the total donations received by all parties from all seven electoral trusts.
 
Other 10 political parties including INC, NCP, AIADMK, DMK, RJD, AAP, LJP, CPM, CPI and Lok Thanthrik Jantha Dal received a total of Rs19.3801 crore collectively, the ADR analysis said.
 
There were 21 Electoral Trusts registered with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) as per Election Commission guidelines as of 2019 and the updated list of approved Electoral Trusts by CBDT on 8 September 2021, shows there are two new electoral trusts registered.
 
Of those 23, 16 have submitted their contribution reports and only seven trusts declared receiving contributions from various corporate houses and individuals. Registrations of four electoral trusts namely, Bajaj Electoral Trust, Gauri Welfare Association Electoral Trust, Pratinidhi Electoral Trust and Bhartiya Socialist Republican Electoral Trust Association were not renewed.
 
According to the rules formulated by the Central Government, Electoral Trusts are required to distribute at least 95 per cent of the total contributions received during the financial year along with the surplus brought forward from the earlier financial year to the eligible political parties before 31st March of the said financial year.
 
The rules are not retrospective and, hence, these six electoral trusts, i.e., General Electoral Trust, Electoral Trust, Harmony Electoral Trust, Corporate Electoral Trust, Bharti Electoral Trust, and Satya Electoral Trust are not required to follow the transparency rules and declare their donor details.
 
Stating that 56% of the 16 Electoral Trusts that submitted their annual reports for FY20-21 declared that they received nil contributions in that year, the ADR said, "Between FY13-14 and 2020-21, eight Electoral Trusts have declared that they have not received any donations since the year of their registration or whose reports are not available in public domain while six Electoral Trusts have declared receiving contributions only once since registered. This raises a question on the continuation of registration of such electoral trusts that fail to fulfill their primary objective of distributing contributions received by them to the political parties concerned."
 
The contribution reports for FY20-21 of seven out of 23 registered Electoral Trusts are not available on the website of the ECI, even after five months since the deadline.
 
These include Jankalyan E.T., Janshakti E.T., People's E.T., Upakriti E.T., Bhartiya Bhumi E.T., Harmony E.T. and Kalyan E.T.
 
The contribution report of Kalyan Electoral Trust was not even once available on the ECI website since its registration in September 2016, the analysis added.
 
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