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With 76% BJP is the top gainer of anonymous donations, Congress way second

NEW DELHI: National political parties received over Rs 100 crore in 2015-16 in the form of donations above Rs 20,000, the limit above which funding sources have to be disclosed, as per a report.

The BJP led the pack at Rs 76.85 crore from 613 donations while Congress declared receiving Rs 20.42 crores from 918 donations.

The donations less than Rs 20,000 evade scrutiny and Election Commission recently has recommended to the government to ban anonymous contributions of Rs 2,000 and above to the parties.

“The total amount of donations above Rs 20,000 declared by the National Parties was Rs 102.02 crores from 1,744 donations,” the report said.

Jointly prepared by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), the analysis says that the donations declared by BJP is more than thrice the aggregate declared by the Congress, NCP, CPI, CPI-M and Trinamool Congress for the same period.

Prepared on the basis of declarations made by the parties to the Election Commission, it says BSP did not receive any donations above Rs 20,000 during 2015-16, “as it has been declaring for the past 10 years.”

A comparison of the total donations received by the parties in 2014-15 and 2015-16 shows that it saw a decrease of 84 per cent or Rs 528.67 crore.

Donations to BJP decreased from Rs 437.35 crores during financial year 2014-15 to Rs 76.85 crores during 2015-16 (a decrease of 82 per cent), it says.

“It is to be noted that BJP’s donations had increased by 156 per cent between 2013-14 and 2014-15 while that of INC had increased by 137 per cent during the same period,” the report notes.

The temporary rise may be attributed to the 16th Lok Sabha elections that were held in 2014.

The report also observes a marked decline in cash donations declared by the parties in 2015-16, which it attributes to a 2014 ECI notification that had done away with the provision of tax deduction on cash support.

“Of the total donations of Rs 102.02 crores declared by the National Parties, Rs 1.45 crores from 112 donations was received in cash during FY 2015-16. This formed 1.42 per cent of the total donations of the parties,” it says.

Importantly, it also flags incomplete disclosure of information in the donations report submitted by the parties.

“Of the 7 National Parties, BJP, INC, CPI and NCP had not declared PAN details of 473 donations through which the parties collected a total of Rs 11.68 crores.

“INC collected Rs 8.11 crores from 318 donations but failed to provide PAN details of donors while BJP collected Rs 2.19 crores from 71 donations without PAN,” it says.