Hyderabad: For another straight year, Bharatiya Janta Party received the largest share of donations through electoral trusts. In 2019-20, the BJP received Rs 276.45 cr which accounts for 76.17% of the total donations received by all political parties from the electoral trusts.
Indian National Congress (INC) received Rs 58 cr which accounts for 15.98%% of the total donations received by all parties from all seven trusts. They include Jankalyan Electoral, Janpragati Electoral, Janshakti, Jaybharath, Pairbartan, People's Electoral Trust, Samaj Electoral, Small donations electoral, Swadeshi, AB General Electoral, Einzigartig, Jaihind , and Janta Nirvachak
'Trust' is a scheme negated in 2013 during the UPA government under the financial governance of minister P. Chidambaram. A notification defines trust as a trust set up to donate funds to parties through contributions received. The rule states that the trust has to distribute 95% of its total collection while five percent must be used for administrative purposes.
According to the Association of Democratic Reforms, seven Electoral Trusts which have declared receiving contributions during FY 2019-20 have received a total amount of Rs 363.5151 cr from corporates and individuals and distributed Rs 362.9152 cr (99.83%) to various political parties.
GMR Group, which operates six international airports and is engaged in energy, transportation, and urban infrastructure, is among India's biggest political party funders from Hyderabad. It donated Rs. 41 crore to Prudent Electoral Trust for the financial year 2019-20. The other top donors include JSW Steel Ltd. contributed the highest amount worth Rs 39.10 cr amongst all donors of the Electoral Trusts, followed by Apollo Tyres Ltd. with Rs 30 cr and Indiabulls Infraestate Ltd which contributed Rs 25 cr, to various Trusts.
Prudent Electoral Trust is India's richest trust
Formerly known as Satya Electoral Trust, the Prudent Electoral Trust received a whopping Rs. 271.53 crore and disbursed Rs. 271.51 crore during the year 2019-20. Donations were disbursed to BJP (Delhi, Punjab, Maharashtra, Goa, and Odisha), Indian National Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, and Shiv Sena. Out of these, the BJP received the highest share.
With its headquarters based in Zafar Marg, New Delhi, Prudent Electoral Trust is undoubtedly India's richest political party funder. The Trust is represented by director Mukul Goyal. In theory, fund distribution is based on the trustee, however, it does not match it in practice.
An observation by the ADR team said Paribartan Electoral Trust declared a donation of Rs 3 cr to a party/parties through Electoral Bonds. This is the first time that an Electoral Trust has declared giving a donation to a political party/parties using the mode of electoral bonds and the party name(s) is not declared. This practice is against the spirit of the Electoral Trusts Scheme, 2013 and Rule 17CA of the Income Tax Rules, 1962 which make it mandatory for trusts to furnish each and every detail about the donor contributing to the trust.