New Delhi

The Bharatiya Janata Party tops the list when it comes to corporate funding of political parties after having received Rs 705.81 crore between 2012-13 and 2015-16 from business houses, says a report. Out of the 5 National Parties, BJP received the maximum donations of Rs 705.81 crore from 2987 corporate donors followed by Indian National Congress (INC) which received a total contribution of Rs 198.16 crore from 167 corporate donors in this period of 3 years.

Business houses donated Rs 956.77 crore (89 per cent of known donations) to the 5 National Parties during this period, as per a report by Delhi-based think-tank Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) which monitors funding to political parties. Major source of funding of political parties comes from real-estate, trusts & groups of companies, as per the report.

All political parties are required to submit details of donors who have made donations above Rs 20,000 in a financial year (between 1st April and 31st March) to the Election Commission of India, every year. Parties provide details of the name, address, pan, mode of payment and amount contributed by each donor who has made donation above Rs 20,000 in their submission.

Between 2012-13 to 2015-16, BJP's and INC's voluntary contributions above Rs 20,000 from corporate/business houses are 92 per cent and 85 per cent respectively. CPI and CPM have the lowest share of corporate donations at 4 per cent and 17 per cent respectively as per the report.

The maximum corporate donations were received by the National parties in the financial year 2014-15 during which Lok Sabha elections took place. ADR report says that the corporate donations received in fiscal year 2014-15 alone form 60 per cent of the total corporate donations received between fiscal year 2012-13 and 2015-16.  

The watchdog report says Satya Electoral Trust was the top donor to 3 of the National Parties. The trust donated a total of 35 times in 3 years, amounting to Rs 260.87 crore during 2012-13 to 2015-16.  BJP declared receiving Rs 193.62 crore while Congress was the recipient of Rs 57.25 crore of funds from the trust. NCP received Rs 10 crore from Satya Electoral Trust during the same period.

The General Electoral Trust, which was formed before the electoral scheme was launched by the government in 2013, was the second highest corporate donor to BJP and INC. Between fiscal year 2012-13 and 2015-16, the trust donated Rs 70.7 crore and Rs 54.1 crore to the two national parties, respectively.

The real-estate sector was the biggest donor to the National Parties during l 2012-13, contributing a total amount of Rs 16.95 crore to the parties. BJP received the highest contribution of Rs 15.96 crore followed by INC with Rs 95 lakh and CPM with Rs 4 lakh.

Trusts and groups of companies with varied interests in mining, real-estate, power, newspapers donated the highest amount of Rs 419.69 crore to the national parties.

The manufacturing sector was the second highest overall contributor, contributing a total of Rs 123.67 crore to the 5 National Parties. BJP, INC and NCP all 3 received the maximum contributions from trusts and group of companies. BJP received the highest Rs 287.69 crore from trusts & group of companies, followed by INC with Rs 129.16 crore and NCP with Rs 15.78 crore.

ADR report says BJP received the highest donations from all 14 sectors including Real-estate (Rs 105.20 crore), Mining, construction, exports/ imports (Rs 83.56 crore), Chemicals/ Pharmaceuticals (Rs 31.94 crore).

ADR report says political parties reported receiving 262 donations worth Rs 10.48 crore from such corporate entities who have zero internet presence or if they do there is ambiguity about the nature of their work. Interestingly the Contact details of most of these companies were unavailable in cases where they were visible online says watchdog report.

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