Political parties received donations worth Rs 6,500 crore through electoral bonds between 2017-18 and 2020-21, of which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got Rs 4,238 crore (65%), a new report from the Association for Democratic Reforms ( ADR) shows.
The report shows that four national parties – BJP, Congress, Trinamool Congress (AITC) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) – alone received more than 80% percent of the donation through electoral bonds during the said period.
While the BJP topped the list with donations worth Rs 4,238,275 crore, Congress got Rs 716.2 crore, AITC Rs 239.7 crore and NCP Rs 49.75 crore. Other political parties, including regional parties, received Rs 1,282.66 crore through these bonds between 2017-18 and 2020-21, the report found.
During Fiscal Year 2017-2018, among the national parties, only the BJP and Congress stated that they received contributions through electoral bonds, while in 2020-21, apart from the BJP and Congress, only AITC declared donations through electoral bonds.
The donations received by the BJP in 2017-18 were worth Rs 210 crore which rose to Rs 1,450.89 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 2,555 crore in 2019-20. The donations through electoral bonds for the BJP in 2020-21 amounted to Rs 22.38 crore. Of the Rs 716.2 crore received by the Congress through electoral bonds, Rs 5 crore was in 2017-18, Rs 383.26 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 317.86 crore in 2019-20. In 2020-21, Congress received Rs 10.07 crore through electoral bonds.
ELECTION BONDS PURCHASED IN GUJARAT
The ADR report said that between March 2018 and October 2022, a total of 595 bonds worth Rs 343 crore were purchased from the Gandhinagar headquarters of the State Bank of India (SBI).
Maximum electoral bonds were purchased in face value of Rs 1 crore (315) followed by 280 bonds in face value of Rs 10 lakh. Also, no electoral bonds were purchased in denominations of 1,000, 10,000, and 1,00,000.
According to the Ministry of Finance, electoral bonds can be purchased for any value, in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs one crore from the specified branches of the SBI.
According to the ADR, electoral bond is a financial instrument for making donations to political parties and was first stated by the Minister of Finance in the 2017-2018 Union budget. According to the Electoral Bond Scheme, 2018, electoral bond is a bond issued in the form of a promissory note, which will be bearer.
“A bearer instrument is an instrument that does not bear the name of the purchaser or beneficiary, no ownership information is recorded, and the holder of the instrument (i.e. a political party) is presumed to be the owner,” the ADR said in a separate report. .
PARTIES EARNED RS 16,000 CRORE BETWEEN 2016-17 AND 2020-21
The report, released on Sunday, said the total income declared by national and regional political parties, whose annual reports were available on the Election Commission website, is Rs 16,071.60 crore between 2016-17 and 2020-21.
“Around 79.91% or Rs 12,842.28 crore of the total income in five years is explained by eight national parties, while the remaining Rs 3,229.32 crore (20.09 per cent) was explained by regional parties,” the report reads. .
On the other hand, the total donations declared by national and regional political parties in their annual audit reports available on the website of the Election Commission is Rs 12,745.61 crore.
“About 82.15% or Rs 10,471.04 crore of the total donations in five years was declared by eight national parties, while the remaining Rs 2,274.57 cr (17.85%) was declared by regional parties,” it said.
The report said that the maximum funds (Rs 4,760.09 crore) and donations (Rs 4,186,992 crore) were received by national parties in FY 2019-20 – the year of the Lok Sabha elections.
Over the five-year period, the total revenues and total donations of the eight national parties were four times that of the regional parties.
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