The Times of India

LUCKNOW: Donations by corporate and business houses constituted 87% of the total income from 'known sources' of the national parties between 2004-05 and 2011-12, reveals a report released by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

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.

The ADR analyzed income statements filed by national political parties between 2004-12. In its earlier report released on September 13, 2013, the ADR revealed that 75% of the sources of funding of political parties is unknown and 25% was from the known sources. The ADR has now analysed donations made by the known sources, which revealed that national parties received Rs 435.87 crore from known sources between 2004-05 and 2011-12, of which Rs 378.89 crore was donated by corporates and business houses.

According to the ADR report, the BJP received donation of Rs 192.47 crore from 1334 donors from corporate/ business sector followed by Congress receiving a total contribution of Rs 172.25 crore from 418 donors from corporate/ business sector. Around 92% of Congress's voluntary contributions is from corporate/ business houses while 85% of BJP's contribution is from corporate/ business houses.

Maximum number of donations were made by the manufacturing sector (595 donations, Rs 99.71 crore) followed by 340 donations (Rs 24.10 crore) from real-estate sector. Least number of donations were made by hospitals (16 donations, Rs 14 lakh). As many as 45 donations each were made by the shipping & transport (Rs 3.67 crore) and communication sectors (Rs 13.26 crore) respectively to the national parties.

The Congress received maximum contributions from trusts & group of companies (Rs 70.28 crore) while BJP received maximum donation from manufacturing sector (Rs 58.18 crore) and power & oil (Rs 17.06 crore). Maximum donations from mining, construction, export/ import sector was received by Congress (Rs 23.07 crore) while maximum donations from the real estate sector was received by BJP (Rs 17.01 crore).

A total of 301 donors contributing Rs 25.28 crore to the national parties have not declared either their PAN details or address in the contribution form. BJP has the listed the maximum number of donors (273) who have not declared their PAN and address while contributing a maximum of Rs 22.53 crore. Mode of payment of donations by 58 donors who have donated Rs 1.02 crore to the national parties have not been declared by the national parties.

The ADR in its report has recommended that parties should provide all details of donations and all donors who have donated a minimum of Rs 20,000 as a single or multiple donations should provide their PAN details. It also said that political parties are not permitted to accept contributions from foreign companies or companies controlled in India by foreign companies but a total of Rs 29.26 crore was accepted by Congress and BJP together between 2003-04 and 2011-12. ADR has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court to take action against Congress and BJP.

A total of Rs 105.86 crore was donated by six Electoral Trusts to the national parties. The ADR has also recommended that the details of donors who make donations to the Electoral Trusts should be available in the public domain to increase transparency in funding of political parties.

Top corporate donors to national parties

Congress: General Electoral Trust of the Aditya Birla Group donated the maximum amount (Rs 36.41 crore) followed by Torrent Power Ltd. (Rs 11.85 crore) and Bharti Electoral Trust of Bharti Group (Rs 11 crore).

BJP: General Electoral Trust of the Aditya Birla Group donated the maximum amount (Rs 26.57 crore) followed by Torrent Power Ltd. (Rs 13 crore) and Asianet V Holding Pvt Ltd (Rs 10 crore).

NCP: Ambuja cement donated the maximum (Rs 1 crore) followed by Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd. (Rs 1 crore)and Infina Finance Pvt. Ltd. (Rs 1 crore).

CPI and CPM: CPI received a total of Rs 11 lakh from13 corporate donors while CPM received a total of Rs 1.78 crore from 108 corporate/ business houses.

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