According to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), BJP bagged the largest share of corporate donations by getting a share of Rs. 698 crore. In 2018-19 corporate and business houses donated RS. 876.10 crore to five national parties.
Such donations amounted to 92% of the contributions to political parties from known sources, but in between the years 2004-12 to 2018-19 it increased by 131%. The parties considered in the report are the BJP, the Congress, the NCP, the CPI(M), and the Trinamool Congress.
Though, a national party, the BSP has not been considered as it has declared that it received no voluntary contributions above Rs. 20,000 since 2004. No income from corporate was declared by CPI for the year 2018-19.
The BJP received RS. 698.08 crore from 1,573 corporate donors, followed by the Congress with Rs, 122.5 crore from 122 donors while the NCP got Rs. 11.34 crore from 17 donors, Voluntary contributions of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, above Rs.20,000, from corporate and business houses, were 94% and 82% respectively.
In the period which preceded the Lok Sabha elections i.e. 2018-19, the national parties received the highest amount. Followed by Rs. 573.18 crore in 2014-15 during which the 16th Lok Sabha elections were held and Rs. 563.19 crore in 2016-17. Between 2012-13 and 2018-19, donations from corporate to national parties increased by 968%, with a drop in the percentage in 2015-16.
In 2018-19, the Progressive Electoral Trust was the top donor to the BJP, the Congress, and to the Trinamool Congress. It donated three times in a single year, amounting to Rs. 455.15 crore. The BJP declared receipt of Rs. 356.53 crore while the Congress and the Trinamool Congress received about Rs. 55.63 crore and Rs. 42.99 crore. The B.G. Shrike Construction Technology Private Limited was the top donor to the NCP.
The ADR report identifies 15 categories of corporate donors. Of the contribution to the five national parties, Rs. 20.54 crore was from the unsegregated category, which includes companies with no details available online or whose nature of work is unclear. While electoral trusts were the biggest donors, with a share of 69.93%, the manufacturing sector was the second highest with the contribution of Rs. 96.85 crore.
The three parties received the highest contributions from the electoral trusts. The BJP received Rs. 471.78 crore, follows by the Congress with Rs. 93.88 crore, and the TMC with Rs. 42.986 crore.
It has been recommended by the ADR that no part of the Form 24A, submitted by the parties to provide details of donations above Rs. 20,000, should be left blank. All such donors should provide PAN details. Any party which does not submit its donation statement to the EC on or before 31st October should be heavily punished and its income should not be tax-exempted.