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9 electoral trusts donated Rs 637.54 crore to political parties in four years

By Vicky
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    14 out of the 21 Electoral Trusts, registered with the CBDT, submitted their contribution details for the years 2016-17 of which only 6 declared to have received any donations during that year.

    One, Janshakti Electoral Trust, was registered only in September 2017. The following report of ADR analyses the details of donors of 6 Electoral Trusts formed after January, 2013 and the contributions made by the Trusts to political parties during FY 2016-17.

    9 electoral trusts donated Rs 637.54 crore to political parties in four years

    Satya Electoral Trust changed its name to Prudent Electoral Trust in 2016-17. It also changed its address from earlier (Bharti Crescent, 1-Nelson Mandela Road, Vasant Kunj, Phase-II, New Delhi - 110070) to current (G-15 Hans Bhawan, 1 Bahadurshah Zafar Marg, New Delhi - 110002). However, there is no official letter uploaded on ECI's website, regarding the change of name.

    Between 2013-14 and 2016-17, 9 registered Electoral Trusts donated a total of Rs 637.54 cr to political parties of which only 2 Electoral Trusts (Satya/Prudent and Samaj Electoral Trusts) have donated more than twice. Total donations to political parties during FY 2013-14 was Rs 85.37 cr, during FY 2014-15: Rs 177.40 cr, during FY 2015-16: Rs 49.50 cr and during FY 2016-17: Rs 325.27 cr.

    Renewal of approval of Electoral Trusts

    According to Clause 5 (o) of the Electoral Trusts Scheme, 2013, the approval given to a registered Electoral Trust "shall be valid for the assessment year relevant to the financial year in which such application has been made and for a further period, not exceeding three assessment years, as may be specified in such approval" (emphasis added).

    As Satya Electoral Trust was registered on 19th December, 2013, a new application for renewal was submitted by the Trust to the CBDT and approved on 24th August, 2016. It is to be noted that Satya Electoral Trust was the only Electoral Trust to be registered by the CBDT in 2013.

    Overview of contributions report received by ECI from registered Electoral Trusts, FY 2013-14 and 2016-17

    Out of the 21 registered Electoral Trusts, 14 Trusts have been submitting copies of their Contributions report to the Election Commission, consistently, since their registration.

    Satya/Prudent Electoral Trust and Janhit Electoral Trust are the only two who have submitted their Contributions report for all 4 years, FY 2013-14 to 2016-17.

    Kalyan Electoral Trust has not even once submitted its Contributions report to the ECI since its registration.

    Details of the donations received by Electoral Trusts, FY 2016-17

    As per the letter dated 11th Oct, 2017, sent by the CBDT to ECI on the updated list of Electoral Trusts, there are a total of 21 Electoral Trusts registered with the CBDT, 14 of whom had submitted their contributions report.

    Contributions received and disbursed by Electoral Trusts during FY 2016-17:

    According to the rules formulated by the Central Government, Electoral Trusts are required to donate 95% of their total income to registered political parties in a financial year.

    6 Electoral Trusts which have declared receiving contributions during FY 2016-17, have received a total amount of Rs 325.45 cr from corporates and individuals and distributed Rs 325.27 cr (99.92%) to various political parties.

    Amongst all, Prudent Electoral Trust has received the highest, Rs 283.73 cr and distributed Rs 283.72 cr to 6 political parties.

    Contributions received by Prudent Electoral Trust form 87.18% of the total amount donated to all Electoral Trusts during FY 2016-17.

    Contributions made by Corporates and Individuals to Electoral Trusts, FY 2016-17:

    DLF Limited contributed the highest amount worth Rs 28 cr amongst all donors of the Electoral Trusts, followed by UPL Limited and JSW Energy Ltd who contributed Rs 25 cr, individually.

    Only two individuals (Suresh Kotak and Analjit Singh) have contributed to Electoral Trusts in FY 2016-17.

    Suresh A Kotak is the fifth largest donor amongst all, donating Rs 18.5 cr to Janta Nirvachak Electoral Trust while Analjit Singh donated Rs 1 cr to Prudent Electoral Trust.

    Top 10 donors have donated Rs 190.60 cr to Electoral Trusts, which forms 58.57% of the total donations received by the Trusts during FY 2016-17.

    Donations made by Electoral Trusts to Political Parties: FY 2016-17

    Prudent Electoral Trust donated 88.90% or Rs 252.22 cr to BJP while Janta Nirvachak Electoral Trust donated 100% or Rs 25 cr of its total income to BJP.

    3 Electoral Trusts made contributions to only 1 political party each which includes BJP, AITC and INC.

    Prudent Electoral Trust and Samaj Electoral Trust are the only two, who have donated to 5 or more political parties, the common ones being BJP, INC and RLD.

    BJP alone received Rs 290.22 cr or 89.22% of the total donations received by all political parties from Electoral Trusts. Other 9 political parties (including INC, SAD, SP etc.) received only Rs 35.05 cr collectively.

    3 Electoral Trusts (Janta Nirvachak Electoral Trust, Paribartan Electoral Trust and Triumph Electoral Trust) have not declared details of cheques given to political parties.

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