Political Parties Received Rs 258.43 Crore Donation From Electoral Trusts

New Delhi:  Seven Electoral Trusts, which have declared receiving contributions during FY 2020-21, have got a total amount of Rs 258.49 crore from corporates and individuals and distributed Rs 258.43 crore (99.97 per cent) to various political parties, an analysis released on Thursday said.

Top 10 donors have donated Rs 223.00 crore to Electoral Trusts, which forms 86.27 per cent of the total donations received by the Trusts during FY 2020-21 and BJP received Rs 212.05 crore or 82.05 per cent of the total donations received by all political parties from Electoral Trusts.

The major parties that received donations include BJP, JDU, INC, NCP, AIADMK, DMK, RJD, AAP, LJP, CPM, CPI and Loktantrik Janta Dal, the analysis by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) said.

Future Gaming & Hotel Services contributed the highest amount worth Rs 100 crore amongst all donors of the Electoral Trusts, followed by Haldia Energy India Ltd with Rs 25 crore and Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Limited which contributed Rs 22 crore, to various Trusts.

As many as 159 individuals have contributed to Electoral Trusts in FY 2020-21: Two individuals contributed Rs 3.50 crore to Prudent Electoral Trust, 153 individuals contributed Rs 3.202 crore to Small Donations Electoral Trust, three individuals gave a total of Rs 5 lakh to Einzigartig Electoral Trust and one individual contributed Rs 1,100 to Independent Electoral Trust, ADR said in a statement.

Top 10 donors have donated Rs 223.00 crore to Electoral Trusts, which forms 86.27 per cent of the total donations received by the trusts during FY 2020-21.

Prudent Electoral Trust donated Rs 209.00 crore to BJP, in contrast to Rs 217.75 crore contributed in FY 2019-20, while Jaybharath Electoral Trust donated Rs 2.00 crore of its total income to BJP in FY 2020-21.

Electoral Trust donated Rs 3.31 crore to INC. Prudent Electoral Trust donated to seven political parties, including major parties such as BJP, JDU, INC, NCP, RJD, AAP & LJP.

BJP received Rs 212.05 crore or 82.05 per cent of the total donations received by all political parties from Electoral Trusts while JDU received Rs 27 crore or 10.45 per cent of the total donations received by all parties from all Seven Electoral Trusts.

Other 10 political parties including INC, NCP, AIADMK, DMK, RJD, AAP, LJP, CPM, CPI and Lok Thanthrik Jantha Dal received a total of Rs 19.3801 crore collectively, the ADR analysis said.

There were 21 Electoral Trusts registered with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) as per Election Commission guidelines as of 2019 and the updated list of approved Electoral Trusts by CBDT on September 8, 2021, shows there are two new Electoral Trusts registered.

Of those 23, 16 have submitted their contribution reports and only seven Trusts declared receiving contributions from various corporate houses and individuals. Registrations of four electoral Trusts namely, Bajaj Electoral Trust, Gauri Welfare Association Electoral Trust, Pratinidhi Electoral Trust and Bhartiya Socialist Republican Electoral Trust Association were not renewed.

According to the rules formulated by the Central Government, Electoral Trusts are required to distribute at least 95 per cent of the total contributions received during the financial year along with the surplus brought forward from the earlier financial year to the eligible political parties before March 31 of the said financial year.

The rules are not retrospective and hence these six 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.

Stating that 56 per cent of the 16 Electoral Trusts that submitted their annual reports for FY 2020-21 declared that they received nil contributions in that year, the ADR said, “Between FY 2013-14 and 2020-21, eight Electoral Trusts have declared that they have not received any donations since the year of their registration or whose reports are not available in public domain while six Electoral Trusts have declared receiving contributions only once since registered. This raises a question on the continuation of registration of such electoral trusts that fail to fulfill their primary objective of distributing contributions received by them to the political parties concerned.”

The contribution reports for FY 2020-21 of seven out of 23 registered Electoral Trusts are not available on the website of the ECI, even after five months since the deadline.

These include Jankalyan E.T., Janshakti E.T., People’s E.T., Upakriti E.T., Bhartiya Bhumi E.T., Harmony E.T. and Kalyan E.T.

The contribution report of Kalyan Electoral Trust was not even once available on the ECI website since its registration in September 2016, the analysis added.

(IANS)