The BJP received a massive Rs 915.596 crore as corporate donations between FY 2016-17 and FY 2017-18, a report by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) states. Congress, on the other hand, received just Rs 55.36 crore as corporate funding during the same period.
The report, based on data from the Election Commission, gives details of the donations of Rs 20,000 and above received by six national parties – BJP, Congress (INC), NCP, CPI, CPM, and Trinamool Congress (AITC). The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is not included in the list as the party had stated that it received no donations above Rs 20,000 from any donor in FY 2016-17 and 2017-18.
The BJP received a the maximum donations of Rs 915.596 crore from 1731 corporate donors, forming up to 94 per cent of its total donations. Its nearest rival Congress received Rs 55.36 crore as donation from 151 corporate houses. The NCP received Rs. 7.73 crore, CPM Rs 4.42 crore, and the AITC received Rs 2.03 crore.
The CPI had the lowest share of corporate donations at 2 per cent.
Out of the total Rs 985.18 crore donated by the corporate, Rs 22.59 crore was also received from the unsegregated category, which includes companies with no details available online or those with no clarity regarding the nature of their work.
The parties also received 916 donations amounting Rs 120.14 crore where the donor’s address was not mentioned. The BJP received 98.77 per cent of such donations worth Rs 118.66 crore. The party also received Rs 2.50 crore through donations made without any PAN and address details.
Among the donors, electoral trusts were the major contributors, donating over Rs 488.42 crore during the given period. They were followed by manufacturing and real estate sectors, which contributed Rs 120 crore and Rs 90.57 crore respectively.
Prudent/Satya Electoral Trust was the top donor to two of the National Parties, BJP and Congress, contributing Rs 405.52 crore to the BJP and Rs 23.90 crore to the Congress.
Delhi formed the hub of these corporate donations, with 48.86 per cent (Rs 481.37 crore) funds originating from the state. It was followed by Maharashtra at 17.95 per cent (Rs 176.88 crore).
Cheque/Demand Draft was the preferred mode of payment, with donations worth Rs 786.603 crore made through this mode. It was followed by Bank Transfer (Rs 175.764 crore). The Congress received Rs 12.08 crore of the total donations with incomplete and undeclared mode of payment while BJP received Rs 8.066 crore through this mode. Hundred per cent of corporate donations to AITC either have incomplete or undeclared mode of payment.
Between FY 2012-13 and 2017-18, donations from corporates to national parties increased by a whopping 414 per cent, with a major drop in the percentage of corporate donations in FY 2015-16.
Following a 2013 judgment by the Supreme Court, any party receiving a donation above Rs 20,000 has to provide details of the donor.
In April this year, the Supreme Court, acting on a plea by ADR, had asked all political parties to present receipts of electoral bonds along with identity and bank account details of the donors and the amounts received in a sealed cover to the EC by May 30. The move was taken to bring transparency in the political funding process which had taken a hit by the provisions in Finance Bill, 2017, which had allowed anonymous donations to political parties through electoral bonds. The Bill had also removed existing limits on the percentage of profits that a company can donate to political parties.