ADR report: Over 55% donations to regional parties from ‘unknown’ sources, 95% in electoral bonds

The Association for Democratic Reforms report said that the donation received from unknown sources contributed to 70.98 percent of the income of national parties.

FP Staff November 12, 2021 12:30:02 IST
ADR report: Over 55% donations to regional parties from ‘unknown’ sources, 95% in electoral bonds

Representational image. News18

In its latest report released on Thursday, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has found that over 55 percent of the donations received by political parties fiscal 2019-20 came from “unknown” sources and 95 percent of it constituted electoral bonds.

The ARD report said that the donation received from unknown sources contributed to 70.98 percent of the income of national parties.

For 2018-19 fiscal, ADR found the total income of 23 regional parties amounted to Rs 885.956 crores including Rs 481.276 crore, or 54.32 percent from unknown sources. There has been a 1.18 percent increase in income from unknown sources.

Twenty-five regional parties received a total of Rs 803.24 crore donations in 2019-20, of which Rs 445.7 crore came from “unknown” sources. While Rs 426.233 crore or 95.6 percent of donations from these unknown sources were made through electoral bonds, Rs 4.976 crore were voluntary contributions.

Analysis of Donations Declared by Regional Parties-FY2019-20 by Manasi Chandu on Scribd

Here are some other key findings of the report:

  • Donations from the “unknown” sources contributed immensely to regional parties, especially from South India, like TRS (Rs 89.158 crore), TDP (Rs 81.694 crore), YSR Congress Party (Rs 74.75 crore), and DMK (Rs 45.50 crore). The list also includes Odisha’s ruling BJD at Rs 50.586 crore.
  • Out of the total donations of Rs 233.686 cr declared by the regional parties, Rs 4.884 cr from 421 donations was received in cash during FY 2019-20. This formed 2.09 percent of the total donations to the parties.
  • The report highlighted income contribution reports from Aam Aadmi Party, Indian Union Muslim League, and Lok Jansakhti Party were available but their donations data show discrepancies.
  • As far as donations are concerned, regional parties have declared receiving the highest donations of Rs 110.475 cr from Maharashtra, followed by Rs 46.24 cr from Delhi and Rs 9.00 cr from Karnataka.
  • An earlier ADR report this year had said that national parties collected Rs 3,377.41 crore or 70.98 percent of the total from unknown sources in the 2019-20 financial year. It found BJP declared Rs 2,642.63 crore as income from unknown sources, the highest among the national parties.
  • The BJP spent Rs 252 crore in the polls held in Assam, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala this year, of which over Rs 151.18 crore was used for its West Bengal poll campaign, according to the party’s election expenditure statement submitted to the EC. The TMC also spent around ₹154.28 crore on the Assembly elections.

In its instruction to all political parties in the report, the ADR asked parties to make the full details of the donors available while suggesting that any organization that receives foreign funding will not be allowed to support or campaign for any party or candidate.

“The mode of payment of all donations (above and below Rs 20,000), income from the sale of coupons, membership fees, etc. should be declared by the parties in audit reports, submitted to the I-T department and ECI,” the ADR had said.

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