Press Release (Date: 18th January, 2017)
Analysis of Donations Received above Rs 20,000 by Regional Political Parties – FY 2015-16
This report, prepared by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), focuses on donations above Rs 20,000, received by Regional Political Parties, during the Financial Year 2015-16, as submitted by the parties to the Election Commission of India (ECI).
The Regional Parties considered for this report include Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazagam (DMDK), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS), Janata Dal (United) (JDU), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Naga People's Front (NPF), Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Shiv Sena (SHS), Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Telegu Desam Party (TDP), and Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSR-Congress).
The executive summary below lists the key observations drawn from the report:
A. Donations above Rs 20,000 to Regional Parties from all over India (FY 2015-16)
- The total amount of donations above Rs 20,000 received by Regional Political Parties during FY 2015-16 is calculated from the donations report submitted by the parties to the Election Commission annually.
- The total amount of donations above Rs 20,000 declared by the Regional Parties was Rs. 107.62 cr, from 2249 donations.
- A total of Rs 86.84 cr was declared by Shivsena from 143 donations while AAP declared receiving Rs 6.605 cr from 1187 donations. The donations declared by Shivsena is more than four times the total amount of donations declared by 15 other Regional parties during the same period.
- Of the parties considered, AIADMK, BJD, JMM, NPF and RLD have declared receiving NIL donations above Rs 20,000 during FY 2015-16.
B. Comparison of donations received by Regional Parties during FY 2014-15 and FY 2015-16
- The overall donations of the 21 Regional Parties considered for this report during FY 2015-16 decreased by Rs 27.24 cr or 20.20% from the previous financial year, 2014-15 when the parties declared receiving Rs 134.86 cr.
- Shiv Sena, PMK, AIUDF, DMDK and JDS are the five Regional Parties which have declared increase in the amount of donations received between FY 2014-15 and 2015-16.
- BJD, JMM, NPF and RLD had declared receiving a total of Rs 25.56 cr during FY 2014-15 but declared receiving no donations above Rs 20,000 for FY 2015-16 while AIADMK declared receiving NIL donations above Rs 20,000 during FY 2014-15 & 2015-16.
- MNS has declared a decrease of 95.39%, from Rs 6.08 cr in FY 2014-15 to Rs 28 lakhs in FY 2015-16 while donations to SDF decreased from Rs 3.07 cr during FY 2014-15 to Rs 25 lakhs during FY 2015-16 (91.86% decrease).
C. Cash donations declared by the Regional Parties – FY 2015-16
ECI notification dated 29th August, ’14 stated that “…no tax deduction shall be allowed on the contributions made in cash by any person or company to a political party”. This notification was applicable for donations made from FY 2014-15 onwards. But, there has been a marked increase in cash donations to political parties between FY 2014-15 and 2015-16. The 21 Regional parties considered for this report, during FY 2014-15, had declared receiving only Rs 30 lakhs in cash which formed 0.22% of the total donations to the parties, above Rs 20,000.
- Out of the total donations of Rs 107.62 cr declared by the Regional Parties, Rs 3.32 crores from 784 donations was received in cash during FY 2015-16. This formed 3.08% of the total donations to the parties.
- Maximum donations in cash was declared by PMK which collected a total of Rs 2.65 cr, followed by AAP with Rs 29.56 lakhs and Shivsena with Rs 27.27 lakhs (Refer: Annexure 2).
- Among all the states, donors from Tamil Nadu made the highest donations of Rs 2.46 cr in cash followed by donors from Punjab who donated a total of Rs 14.11 lakhs in cash.
- All donations in cash from Punjab, Delhi, Chandigarh and Malaysia were to AAP. Single donor from Malaysia made 5 donations of Rs 20,000 each in cash to AAP during FY 2015-16 (Refer: Annexure 3).
D. State-wise donations to Regional Parties – by Cash, Cheque/ DD, Bank transfer
- Segregation of donations according to State was made by ADR/NEW based on the addresses provided by the parties in their donations report to the ECI.
- Donations declared by the Regional Parties contained details of donations received from 26 States/Union Territories/common capitals and 10 countries according to the declared address of donors. Only AAP declared donations from abroad (Refer: Annexure 3).
- A total of Rs 86.82 cr was donated to the Regional Parties from Maharashtra, followed by Rs 3.3 cr from Karnataka and Rs 2.56 cr from Hyderabad.
- Rs 0.98 cr or 14.84% of the total donations above Rs 20,000 of AAP was received from abroad.
- A total of Rs 1.43 cr, (1.33% of total donations received by the Regional parties, FY 2015-16), could not be attributed to any State/ Union Territory due to incomplete information provided by the parties.
E. Donors from Corporates/ business sectors Vs. Individual donors
- 84.45% of all donations above Rs 20,000 amounting to Rs 90.89 cr were received via 202 donations from corporate/business houses in FY 2015-16 by Regional Parties. 15.42% amounting to Rs 16.59 crores were received via 1988 donations from Individual donors during the same time.
- There were 59 undeclared donations from which regional parties collected Rs 0.14 crores in FY 2015-16.
- With the maximum amount of donations during FY 2015-16, Shivsena has declared receiving Rs 86.16 crores from corporate/business houses and Rs 0.68 crores from individual donors.
- Full details of all donors should be made available for public scrutiny under the RTI. Some countries where this is done include Bhutan, Nepal, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Bulgaria, the US and Japan. In none of these countries is it possible for 75% of the source of funds to be unknown, but at present it is so in India.
- The National and Regional Parties should, ideally, lead by example by filing complete and correct statements of donations to the ECI well in time for public scrutiny so as to encourage financial transparency.
- The National and Regional political parties must provide all information on their finances under the Right to Information Act. This will go a long way in strengthening political parties, elections and democracy.