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Donations to BJP decreased 39.23%, Congress' 46.39%; Prudent Electoral Trust top donor

Excerpts from the report "Analysis of Donations Received above Rs 20,000 by National Political Parties, FY 2020-21", prepared by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), based on donations, as submitted by the parties to the Election Commission of India (ECI) [the National parties include Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM), All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) and National People’s Party (NPEP)]:

1. Status of Submission of Contribution reports of National Parties, FY 2020-21

a) The due date for submission of contribution reports for the parties was 30 September 2021.
b) Only BSP submitted its contribution report on time while NCP, AITC, CPM, NPEP, INC, BJP and CPI submitted after a delay of 10 days, 117 days, 136 days, 137 days, 161 days, 164 days and 178 days, respectively.

2. Donations above Rs 20,000 to National Parties from all over India, FY 2020-21

a) The total donations (above Rs 20, 000) declared by the National parties for FY 2020-21 was Rs 593.748 cr from 3753 donations.
b) A total of Rs 477.545 cr from 2206 donations was declared by BJP followed by Rs 74.524 cr from 1077 donations declared by INC. The donations declared by BJP are more than four times the aggregate declared by INC, NCP, CPI, CPM, NPEP and AITC for the same period.
c) BSP declared that the party did not receive any donations above Rs 20,000 during FY 2020-21, as it has been declaring for the past 15 years.

3. Comparison of donations received by National parties during FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21

a) For this comparison, we are not taking National People's Party’s income amount as the party’s donation statement is not available on ECI website for FY 2019-20.
b) The total donations of the National parties during FY 2020-21 decreased by Rs 420.652 cr, a decrease of 41.49% from the previous financial year 2019-20.
c) Donations to BJP decreased from Rs 785.77 cr during FY 2019-20 to Rs 477.545 cr during FY 2020-21 (39.23% decrease). While the party’s donations increased by 5.88% during FY 2019-20 in comparison to FY 2018-19.
d) INC’s donations decreased from Rs 139.016 cr during FY 2019-20 to Rs 74.524 cr during FY 2020-21 (46.39% decrease). While INC’s donations decreased by 6.44% between FY 2018-19 and FY 2019-20.
e) In a comparison of the previous FY decrease in donations declared by AITC was 94.74% (Rs 7.6585 cr), NCP - 56.19% (Rs 33.685 cr) and CPM- 34.49% (Rs 6.7925 cr).

4. State-wise donations to National Parties: FY 2020-21

a) Segregation of donations according to state was made by ADR based on the addresses provided by the parties in their donations report to the ECI.
b) A total of Rs 246.502 cr was donated to the National Parties from Delhi, followed by Rs 71.681 cr from Maharashtra and Rs 47.071 cr from Gujarat.
c) A total of Rs 37.912 cr, (6.39% of total donations received by the National parties, FY 2020-21), could not be attributed to any State/ Union Territory due to Incomplete/Undeclared information provided by the parties.

5. Donors from corporates/business sectors Vs. individual donors

a) 1399 donations to the National parties were made by corporate/business sectors amounting to Rs 480.725 cr (80.9645% of total donations) while 2257 individual donors donated Rs 111.58 cr (18.7925% of total donations) to the parties during FY 2020-21.
b) 1111 donations from corporate/business sectors were made to BJP (Rs 416.794 cr) while 1071 individual donors donated Rs 60.37 cr to the party during FY 2020-21.
c) INC received a total of Rs 35.89 cr via 146 donations from corporate/business sectors and Rs 38.634 cr via 931 individual donors during FY 2020-21.
d) BJP (Rs 416.794 cr) received more than six times the total amount (Rs 63.931 cr) of corporate donations declared by all other National parties for the FY 2020-21.

6. Top donors to National Parties, FY 2020-21

a) Prudent Electoral Trust donated a total of Rs 216.00 cr to BJP, NCP and INC together and is the top donor to parties that received the maximum donations. The Trust donated Rs 209.00 cr to BJP (43.766% of total funds received by the party), Rs 5.00 cr to NCP (19.04% of total funds received by the party). and Rs 2 cr to INC (2.68% of total funds received by the party).
b) IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd (Rs 20.00 cr, 1 donation), Modern Road Makers Pvt Ltd. Ltd. (Rs 20.00 cr, 1 donation) and Saranjay Brahma (Rs 14.46 cr, 4 donations) are some of other top donors of BJP in the FY 2020-21.
c) BJP and INC received a total of Rs 10.00 cr (2.09%) and Rs 60 lakhs (0.81%), respectively from Nirma Ltd.

Observations

1. NCP, AITC, CPM, NPEP, INC, BJP and CPI submitted contribution reports after a delay of 10 days, 117 days, 136 days, 137 days, 161 days, 164 days and 178 days, respectively.
2. It is to be noticed that INC declared Rs 74.504 cr but the actual calculated amount is Rs 74.524 cr and CPM had declared Rs 12.854 cr but the actual calculated amount is Rs 12.901 cr in their donation statements for FY 202021.
3. 5 National parties, BJP, INC, CPM, CPI and NPEP had not declared PAN details of 171 donations through which the parties collected a total of Rs 2.746 cr (0.46% of the total donations declared by National parties).
4. 4 National Parties (INC- Rs 5.43 cr, BJP-Rs 63.50 lakhs, CPM- Rs 2 lakhs and NCP- Rs 1 lakh) have declared Rs 6.095 cr from 43 donations having missing/incorrect PAN details.
5. BJP declared 252 donations of Rs 81.383 cr, INC collected 90 donations worth Rs 12.21 cr, AITC collected 26 donations of Rs 42.50 lakhs, CPM collected 26 donations of Rs 17.35 lakhs, NPEP collected 3 donations of Rs 8.35 lakhs and CPI collected 1 donation of Rs 50,000 having incomplete cheque/DD details where cheque number, bank details on which it was drawn and the date on which the cheque was received/ encashed is not provided. Thus, without the complete cheque/DD details, it would be a time-consuming process to link the donors against their donations and hence trace the money trail.
6. As done for the last 15 years, BSP has remarkably declared again that the party did not receive any donations above Rs 20,000.

Recommendations

1. The Supreme Court gave a judgment on September 13, 2013 declaring that no part of a candidate’s affidavit should be left blank. Similarly, no part of the Form 24A submitted by political parties providing details of donations above Rs 20,000 should be blank.
2. All donors who have donated a minimum of Rs 20,000 as a single or multiple donations should provide their PAN details.
3. Full details of all donors should be made available for public scrutiny under the RTI. Some countries where this is done include Bhutan, Nepal, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Bulgaria, the US and Japan. In none of these countries is it possible for nearly 50% of the source of funds to be unknown, but at present it is so in India.
4. The National parties should, ideally, lead by example by filing complete and correct statements of donations to the ECI well in time for public scrutiny so as to encourage financial transparency.
5. It is suggested that the ECI publicize on its website details of the action taken (if any) against political parties that fail to provide required details (such as name, address, PAN and mode of payment) of individuals, companies or entities making donations in cash.
6. Incomplete contributions reports having missing or incorrect PAN/mode of payment details must be returned to the parties by the ECI, to deter them from providing incomplete information.
7. The National and Regional political parties must provide all information of their finances under the Right to Information Act. This will go a long way in strengthening political parties, elections and democracy.
8. Annual scrutiny of donations reports of National, Regional and unrecognized parties should be initiated by a dedicated department of the CBDT, to discourage donations from shell companies or illegal entities.

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