Corporate and business houses donated Rs 921.95 crore to national parties in the financial year 2019-20, with the BJP receiving the highest share of Rs 720.407 crore, according to a report.
Donations from corporates to the national parties increased by 109 per cent between FY 2017-18 and 2018-19, said an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO working for bringing in transparency in electoral politics.
The analysis was done on the basis of details given by the parties to the Election Commission of India of donors who have made donations above Rs 20,000 in a financial year.
The five parties whose donations were analysed include the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Indian National Congress (INC), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM).
According to the report, out of the five national parties, the BJP received the maximum donations of Rs 720.407 crore from 2,025 corporate donors during FY 2019-20, followed by the INC, which received a total contribution of Rs 133.04 crore from 154 donors, and the NCP with Rs 57.086 crore from 36 corporate donors.
The CPM declared no income from corporate donations for 2019-20, it said.
The report said Prudent Electoral Trust was the top donor to the BJP and the Congress in 2019-20. The Trust donated 38 times in a single year to the two parties each, amounting to a total of Rs 247.75 crore.
“The BJP declared receiving Rs 216.75 crore and Congress received Rs 31.00 crore from Prudent Electoral Trust. B G Shirke Construction Technology Pvt. Ltd. was the top donor to NCP in 2019-20,” it said.
During the period from 2012-13 to 2019-20, the national parties received the maximum corporate donations of Rs 921.95 crore in 2019-20 (during which the 17th Lok Sabha elections were held), followed by Rs 881.26 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 573.18 crore in 2014-15 (during which the 16th Lok Sabha elections were held), the report said.
Corporate donations received in 2019-20 constituted 24.62 per cent of the total corporate donations made between 2012-13 and 2019-20.
Between 2012-13 and 2019-20, donations from corporate and business houses to the national parties increased by 1,024 per cent, the report noted.
The contributions from corporate/business houses were divided into 15 sectors/categories by ADR and do not form a part of the submission by parties to ECI. The sectors include trusts and group of companies, manufacturing, power and oil, mining, construction, exports/imports, and real estate, among others.
“Out of the total of Rs 921.95 crore donated by the corporate/business houses to the five national parties in FY 2019-20, Rs 22.312 crore was received from the unsegregated category, which includes companies with no details available online or whose nature of work is unclear,” the report said.
During 2019-20, electoral trusts were the biggest donors to the national parties, contributing a total amount of Rs 397.82 crore (about 43 per cent). The manufacturing sector was the second highest overall contributor in 2019-20, contributing a total amount of Rs 146.388 crore, the report said.
During 2019-20, BJP, Congress, AITC and NCP received the maximum contributions from electoral trusts. The BJP received the highest amount of Rs 323.32 crore, followed by INC (Rs 71.00 crore), AITC (Rs 2.00 crore) and NCP (Rs 1.50 crore).