Party received 86.59% of total donations made during 2017-18, says report

Despite a four-year-old circular from the Election Commission of India (ECI) to all the electoral trusts, just 13 out of the 22 such trusts registered with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) have submitted their contribution details for 2017-18 to the poll panel. Out of this, only five trusts have declared to have received any donations during that year, according to an analysis of contribution report of electoral trusts prepared by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). While Bharti Airtel is the biggest donor to the trusts, the BJP received the maximum share of donations.

The ECI had sought the details of contributions received by the trusts and disbursed by them to political parties to ensure transparency. “These guidelines were issued to seven electoral trusts formed after January 2013, which included Satya Electoral Trust, Pratinidhi Electoral Trust, People’s Electoral Trust, Progressive Electoral Trust, Janhit Electoral Trust, Bajaj Electoral Trust and Janpragati Electoral Trust,” ADR said in a release.

“Prudent Electoral Trust donated 154.30 crore to the BJP while AB General Electoral Trust donated 12.50 crore of its total income to the party. “The BJP alone received 167.80 crore or 86.59 per cent of the total donations received by all political parties from electoral trusts. The other four political parties — the Congress, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) — received only 25.98 crore collectively,” the report said.

Thirteen trusts have been submitting copies of their contributions report to the ECI consistently since their registration. Satya/Prudent Electoral Trust is the only trust to submit its contributions report for all five years, the ADR report said. “There are 10 such registered electoral trusts that have either declared not receiving any contributions or have not submitted their reports at all since their registration,” the report added.

They have declared receiving contributions worth 194.12 crore from corporates and individuals in 2017-18 and said they distributed 193.78 crore (99.82 per cent) to various political parties. “Bharti Airtel contributed the highest amount – 25.005 crore – among all donors, followed by DLF Ltd with 25 crore and UPL Ltd which contributed 22 crore to various trusts,” the ADR report said.

Only two individuals contributed to the electoral trusts in 2017-18 and the top 10 donors have donated 139 crore to the trusts, accounting for 71.61 per cent of the total donations received.

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