Corporates and business houses provided 90 per cent donations to national political parties in 2013-14 while BJP was the only party not to furnish details of financial assistance to the Election Commission, advocacy group Association for Democratic Reforms said today.
In a report, the ADR said total donations received by Congress, NCP and CPI during 2013-14 rose by Rs 62.69 crore which is an increase of whopping 517 per cent from the previous financial year.
The ADR said donations to Congress rose from Rs 11.72 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 59.58 crore in 2013-14 which is an increase of 408 per cent.
In 2012-13, donations declared by BJP was more than the aggregate declared by Congress, NCP, CPI and CPI-M during 2013-14. BJP had declared a total of Rs 83.19 crore received above Rs 20,000 during 2012-13.
Bharti Group’s Satya Electoral Trust donated the maximum amount of Rs 36.5 crore to Congress followed by A V Patil Foundation which donated Rs 5 crore and Bharat Forge Ltd’s Rs 2.50 crore, said the ADR report prepared on the basis of donation details provided by the political parties.
None of these three groups donated to Congress during 2012-13.
“90 per cent of the donations being from corporates shows the increasing hold of the corporate sector on political parties which is somewhat disconcerting. The ruling party not submitting its donation report is not a good sign,” said Jagdeep Chhokar, founder-trustee of ADR.
Political parties are required to submit report on receiving contributions for furnishing a return of their income for 2013-14 which was October 31. BJP is the only national party which is yet to submit its donations report to the Election Commission, the ADR said.
The total amount of donations above Rs 20,000 declared by the national parties was Rs 76.93 crore, from 881 donations and on an average, Congress received Rs 11.70 lakh per donor, NCP: Rs 1 crore, CPI: Rs 3.23 lakh and CPI-M: Rs 4.03 lakh.
The report said donations to CPI-M reduced from Rs 3.81 crore during 2012-13 to Rs 2.097 crore during 2013-14. BSP declared that it did not receive any donations above Rs 20,000 during 2013-14, as it has declared in the past.
According to the ADR report, the top three donors to NCP were Satya Electoral Trust (Rs 4 crore), followed by Shirke Infrastructure (Rs 2 crore) and Serum Institute of India Ltd. (Rs 1.50 crore).
Donations to CPI were by means of collection, levy and membership fees. Maximum amount was from Gurudas Dasgupta (Rs 25 lakh) followed by Andhra Pradesh State Council, CPI (Rs 14.96 lakh) and Kerala State Council, CPI (Rs 11.53 lakh).
The report said a total of Rs 45.49 crore was donated to national parties from Delhi by both corporates and individuals together followed by Rs 18.12 crore from Maharashtra and Rs 3.01 crore from Gujarat.
On donations, Congress received maximum donations from Delhi (Rs 39.05 crore) while NCP received the most from Maharashtra (Rs 8.02 crore).
The ADR said Congress has not followed the format prescribed by the Election Commission in declaring its donation details.
The column for declaring PAN details of donors is not provided in the contribution reports. Without the PAN details, it would be difficult to link the donors against their donations and hence trace the money trail.
“A total of Rs 6.66 crore was declared by Congress, CPI and CPI-M as amounts received by cheque/DD without disclosing corresponding cheque/DD numbers, name of the bank/ branch on which the cheque was drawn which would aid in tracking the donations,” the ADR said.
Full details of all donors should be made available for public scrutiny under the RTI, the advocacy group said, adding some countries where this is done include Bhutan, Nepal, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Bulgaria, the US and Japan.