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India’s regional political parties have witnessed a decline of about 20 per cent in donations, equal to or more than Rs 20,000, that they received in 2015-16.

According to a study by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), 21 regional political parties received a total of Rs 107.62 crore in donations of or above Rs 20,000 in 2015-16, compared with Rs 134.86 crore in the previous year. 

The study took into account the figures submitted by the political parties to the Election Commission. 

According to the rules, donations below Rs 20,000 are not required to be reported to the Election Commission, but they need to be mentioned in the Income Tax Returns filed by the parties.

The political parties, however, need not pay any income tax.

According to the ADR report, the Shiv Sena received the highest amount of donations at Rs 86.84 crore while the Aam Aadmi Party was a distant second with Rs 6.605 crore. 

As per the donation details submitted to the EC, the BJD, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Naga People's Front and the Rashtriya Lok Dal together received a total of Rs 25.56 crore in 2014-15 but didn't receive any donation above Rs 20,000 in 2015-16. The AIADMK, meanwhile, declared that it didn't receive any donation above Rs 20,000 in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Another report by the ADR in December showed a similar trend with the seven national political parties: The Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, Trinamool Congress, Communist Party of India-Marxist, Communist Party of India, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party.

The seven parties received a total of Rs 102.2 crore as donations of or above Rs 20,000 in the 2015-16 fiscal, compared to Rs 528.67 crore in the previous year, showing a dip of about 84 per cent.

(With IANS inputs)

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