Source: 
DNA
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_mining-companies-funding-politicians_1739259
Date: 
11.09.2012

Some of the biggest mining companies of the country make regular contributions to political parties – including the Congress and the BJP – whose majority of the donation comes from unnamed people, says a study released here on Monday.

According to the study released by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), a group of NGOs working for transparency in political and electoral system, political parties in the country earned over Rs 4,500 crore from donation, voluntary contributions and other sources during the 2004-05 to 2010-11 period.

The study covered information related to six national parties and several regional parties.

The pack was led by the two main parties, the Congress and the BJP, which had an income of Rs 2,008 crore and Rs 994 crore during the period. They were followed by Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) which had an earning of Rs 484 crore, the Communist Party (Marxist) with Rs 417 crore and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party with Rs 279 crore.

ADR’s Anil Bairwal, while addressing the press conference, said some of the companies involved in mining are contributing to several political parties, including the Congress and the BJP.

The study also revealed that a majority of the donations of political parties comes from unnamed sources. It is apparently possible because as per rules in India, political parties have to provide names of contributors only if donation are above Rs 20,000.

Between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, only around 12% of the Congress’s donation, 22% of the BJP’s, 5% of the NCP’s and 1.3 % of the CPM’s came from named sources. However, the most interesting case is that of the BSP, which claimed it did not receive any donation of over Rs 20,000 even though its total income during the period was about Rs 172.67 crore.

According to Bairwal, it took them nearly 18 months to collect facts and figures by using the Right toInformation Act, after several round of fights with political parties and income tax department that were hesitant to share the information.

Bairwal said the study also showed that huge donations were made from various electoral trusts such as the General Electoral Trust, the Public and Political Awareness Trust, Bharti Electoral Trust and Electoral Trust to India’s major political parties including both Congress and BJP. Some of the these trusts are controlled by companies of India’s leading industrialists. For instance, the General Electoral Trust belongs to companies of one of India’s largest industrialist Aditya Birla.

Some of the other companies that contributed to political parties are Torrent Power Limited, Asianet TV Holding private limited, Sterlite Industries, ITC Limited, Videocon Industries Limited, Larsen & Tubro Limited and Russel Credit Limited. “It is interesting that some of the public sector companies also donated money to political parties which as per rules they should not,” Bairwal added.

The study also revealed that at least 18 political parties did not file their contribution reports to the Election Commission between 2004-2005 and 2010-2011. Some of these parties are either are in power or are principle opposition parties in their respective states.

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