Date: 29th Jan, 2018
  Analysis of Contribution Report of Electoral Trusts for FY 2016-17

14 out of the 21 Electoral Trusts, registered with the CBDT, submitted their contribution details for FY 2016-17 to the ECI of which only 6 declared to have received any donations during that year. One, Janshakti Electoral Trust, was registered only in September 2017. The following report of ADR analyses the details of donors of 6 Electoral Trusts formed after January, 2013 and the contributions made by the Trusts to political parties during FY 2016-17. For a detailed report on the Electoral Trusts Scheme launched by the Central Government, the subsequent circular of the ECI in this regard and ADR’s analysis of the donations report of the Electoral Trusts, please refer here; FY 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Satya Electoral Trust changed its name to Prudent Electoral Trust in FY 2016-17. It also changed its address from earlier (Bharti Crescent, 1-Nelson Mandela Road, Vasant Kunj, Phase-II, New Delhi – 110070) to current (G-15 Hans Bhawan, 1 Bahadurshah Zafar Marg, New Delhi – 110002). However, there is no official letter uploaded on ECI’s website, regarding the change of name.

Between FY 2013-14 and 2016-17, 9 registered Electoral Trusts donated a total of Rs 637.54 cr to political parties of which only 2 Electoral Trusts (Satya/Prudent and Samaj Electoral Trusts) have donated more than twice. Total donations to political parties during FY 2013-14 was Rs 85.37 cr, during FY 2014-15: Rs 177.40 cr, during FY 2015-16: Rs 49.50 cr and during FY 2016-17: Rs 325.27 cr.

Executive Summary

Renewal of approval of Electoral Trusts
According to Clause 5 (o) of the Electoral Trusts Scheme, 2013, the approval given to a registered Electoral Trust “shall be valid for the assessment year relevant to the financial year in which such application has been made and for a further period, not exceeding three assessment years, as may be specified in such approval” (emphasis added).

As Satya Electoral Trust was registered on 19th December, 2013, a new application for renewal was submitted by the Trust to the CBDT and approved on 24th August, 2016. It is to be noted that Satya Electoral Trust was the only Electoral Trust to be registered by the CBDT in 2013. 

Overview of contributions report received by ECI from registered Electoral Trusts, FY 2013-14 and 2016-17

  1. Out of the 21 registered Electoral Trusts, 14 Trusts have been submitting copies of their Contributions report to the Election Commission, consistently, since their registration.
  2. Satya/Prudent Electoral Trust and Janhit Electoral Trust are the only two who have submitted their Contributions report for all 4 years, FY 2013-14 to 2016-17.
  3. Kalyan Electoral Trust has not even once submitted its Contributions report to the ECI since its registration.
Details of the donations received by Electoral Trusts, FY 2016-17

As per the letter dated 11th Oct, 2017, sent by the CBDT to ECI on the updated list of Electoral Trusts, there are a total of 21 Electoral Trusts registered with the CBDT, 14 of whom had submitted their contributions report.


S. No

Electoral Trust

Total contributions received


Prudent Electoral Trust

Rs 283.73 crores


Janta Nirvachak Electoral Trust

Rs 25 crores


New Democratic Electoral Trust

Rs 12.03 crores


Samaj Electoral Trust

Rs 4.08 crores


Paribartan Electoral Trust

Rs 0.51 crores


Triumph Electoral Trust

Rs 0.10 crores


Progressive Electoral Trust

Rs 0


Janpragati Electoral Trust

Rs 0


Janhit Electoral Trust

Rs 0


Swadeshi Electoral Trust

Rs 0


Jankalyan Electoral Trust

Rs 0


Jaihind Electoral Trust

Rs 0


Gauri Welfare Association Electoral Trust

Rs 0


Harmony Electoral Trust

Rs 0


Bajaj Electoral Trust

Not submitted


People’s Electoral Trust

Not Submitted


Pratinidhi Electoral Trust

Not Submitted


Bhartiya Socialist Republican Electoral Trust Association

Not Submitted


JAYBHARATH Electoral Trust

Not Submitted


Kalyan Electoral Trust

Not Submitted


Janshakti Electoral Trust

Registered in Sept, 2017

Table: Donations received by Electoral Trusts, FY 2016-17

Contributions received and disbursed by Electoral Trusts during FY 2016-17
  1. According to the rules formulated by the Central Government, Electoral Trusts are required to donate 95% of their total income to registered political parties in a financial year.
  2. 6 Electoral Trusts which have declared receiving contributions during FY 2016-17, have received a total amount of Rs 325.45 cr from corporates and individuals and distributed Rs 325.27 cr (99.92%) to various political parties.
  3. Amongst all, Prudent Electoral Trust has received the highest, Rs 283.73 cr and distributed Rs 283.72 cr to 6 political parties.
  4. Contributions received by Prudent Electoral Trust form 87.18% of the total amount donated to all Electoral Trusts during FY 2016-17.

Graph: Total contributions received and disbursed by Electoral Trusts during FY 2016-17

Contributions made by Corporates and Individuals to Electoral Trusts, FY 2016-17
  1. DLF Limited contributed the highest amount worth Rs 28 cr amongst all donors of the Electoral Trusts, followed by UPL Limited and JSW Energy Ltd who contributed Rs 25 cr, individually.
  2. Only two individuals (Mr. Suresh Kotak and Mr. Analjit Singh) have contributed to Electoral Trusts in FY 2016-17.
  3. Mr. Suresh A Kotak is the fifth largest donor amongst all, donating Rs 18.5 cr to Janta Nirvachak Electoral Trust while Mr Analjit Singh donated Rs 1 cr to Prudent Electoral Trust.
  4. Top 10 donors have donated Rs 190.60 cr to Electoral Trusts, which forms 58.57% of the total donations received by the Trusts during FY 2016-17.


Graph: Top 10 donors to Electoral Trusts in FY 2016-17

Donations made by Electoral Trusts to Political Parties: FY 2016-17
  1. Prudent Electoral Trust donated 88.90% or Rs 252.22 cr to BJP while Janta Nirvachak Electoral Trust donated 100% or Rs 25 cr of its total income to BJP.
  2. 3 Electoral Trusts made contributions to only 1 political party each which includes BJP, AITC and INC.
  3. Prudent Electoral Trust and Samaj Electoral Trust are the only two, who have donated to 5 or more political parties, the common ones being BJP, INC and RLD.
  4. BJP alone received Rs 290.22 cr or 89.22% of the total donations received by all political parties from Electoral Trusts. Other 9 political parties (including INC, SAD, SP etc.) received only Rs 35.05 cr collectively.
  5. 3 Electoral Trusts (Janta Nirvachak Electoral Trust, Paribartan Electoral Trust and Triumph Electoral Trust) have not declared details of cheques given to political parties.

Graph: Donations disbursed by Prudent Electoral Trust to political parties in FY 2016-17

Recommendations of ADR

  1. Before the transparency rules governing contributions to Electoral Trusts were formulated by the Central Government, 6 Electoral Trusts had donated a total amount of Rs 105 crores to the National Parties between FY 2004-05 and 2011-12. General Electoral Trust donated Rs 131.65 crores to 7 political parties during FY 2014-15It is to be noted that the rules are not retrospective and hence these 6 Electoral Trusts i.e. General Electoral Trust, Electoral Trust, Harmony Electoral Trust, Corporate Electoral Trust, Bharti Electoral Trust and Satya Electoral Trust are not required to follow the transparency rules and declare their donor details.
  2. Thus, details of donors to these 6 Electoral Trusts remain unknown thereby leading to speculation on whether donations to these Trusts was only a means of getting tax exemption or a way to convert black money stashed in tax havens to white money in India.
  3. Therefore, details of donors to these Electoral Trusts, which were, formed before the CBDT rules came into existence, should also be disclosed. Also, the same rules which apply to those Trusts formed after 31st January, 2013, should also apply to the above mentioned Trusts so as to improve transparency.
  4. Clause 8(1) of the Electoral Trust Scheme, while explaining the process for withdrawal of approval states that “The CBDT may withdraw the approval granted under this Scheme if it is satisfied that the electoral trust has ceased its activities or its activities are not genuine or are not carried out in accordance with all or any of the conditions laid down under the Scheme” (emphasis added). Thus the approval of those Electoral Trusts, who have never received any contributions since their registration, should be withdrawn.
  5. The names of Electoral Trusts, currently, do not indicate the name of the Company/ group of companies which set up the Trusts. In order to have greater transparency regarding details of corporates which fund political parties, it would be ideal to include the name of the parent company in the name of the Electoral Trust.
  6. Those Electoral Trusts, which have not responded to and complied with the guidelines circulated by the ECI should be heavily penalized as indicated in the notification issued by the ECI to the Trusts.
  7. All Corporates should make details of their political contributions available in public domain through their websites (in annual reports or in a dedicated page) for increasing transparency in political financing.


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