NEW DELHI: India’s seven national political parties received Rs 102 crore as donations above Rs 20,000 — the limit for receiving anonymous donations+ — from 1,744 donations in 2015-2016, with BJP receiving the maximum of Rs 76 crore from 613 donors.
The donations declared by BJP add up to thrice the aggregate declared by Congress, NCP, CPI, CPM and Trinamool Congress for the same period. The parties are required to identify donations and donors above the Rs 20,000 limit. Congress received the second-highest amount — Rs 20 crore — from 918 donations, according to an analysis of donation details by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR). The funding details have been submitted by political parties to the Election Commission.
In a separate analysis, ADR found political party funding consisted predominantly of cash which constituted 63% of the funds in the 11-year period+ from 2004 to 2015.
However, the relatively smaller amounts received above Rs 20,000 disclosed by political parties indicate that most funding is through unknown sources.
The amount of funding received by political parties below Rs 20,000 is not yet known as Congress and BJP have still not submitted their income tax returns to the EC. BSP declared the party did not receive any donations above Rs 20,000+during 2015-16 consistent with its declarations for the past 10 years . Interestingly, total donations of national parties decreased by Rs 528 crore this year, a sharp decrease of 84%, from the previous financial year 2014-15.+
NCP declared the steepest decrease of 98%, from Rs 38 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 71 lakh in 2015-16 while donations to BJP decreased from Rs 437 crore during 2014-15 to Rs 76 crore during 2015-16, an 82% decrease. BJP’s donations had increased by 156% between 2013-14 and 2014-15 while that of Congress had increased by 137% during the same period.
As far as cash donations are concerned, parties during 2014-15 declared receiving only Rs 89 lakh in cash which formed 0.14% of the total donations above Rs 20,000. This increased to Rs 1.45 crore from 112 donations of the total Rs 102.02 crore during 2015-16. This formed 1.42% of the total donations of the parties. Maximum donations in cash were declared by Congress+ , which collected a total of Rs 1.17 crore from 10 states andUnion Territories followed by CPI with Rs 22.22 lakh from 12 states and UTs and BJP with Rs 51,000 from only Bihar.
Among all the states, donors from Karnataka made the highest donations of Rs 80 lakh in cash followed by donors from Meghalaya who donated a total of Rs 21.54 lakh in cash. Both the top donations were made to Congress.