Electoral Trusts: BJP gets over Rs 41 cr, Congress 36 cr
New Delhi: BJP and Congress are the major beneficiaries of political donations in the last fiscal at over Rs 41 crore and more than Rs 36 crore respectively, according to a report of an Electoral Trust registered with the Election Commission (EC).
This is the first report of political donations, made to various parties, which has been furnished to the EC by Delhi based Satya Electoral Trust which said it has received a total of Rs 854,060,000 from various donors during the 2013-14 financial year.
The trust is one of the seven Electoral Trusts identified by the EC and registered with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for tax exemption purposes. The scheme and guidelines for having and operationalising these trusts was notified by the EC in June this year in order to check the use of black money in the electoral process.
The report filed by the trust said while it donated a total of Rs 413,720,000 to BJP, it deposited a total of Rs 365,000,000 in the account of the Indian National Congress party (including MP and Rajasthan state units).
The other parties who benefited from the trust’s donations include Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Rs 2 crore, RJD Rs 1 crore, NCP Rs 4 crore while Jammu and Kashmir National Conference was donated Rs 50 lakh by the trust.
Among the major donors of the trust are Bharti Airtel Limited (over Rs 28 crore), Jubilant Foodworks Ltd (Rs 2.5 crore), Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd (Rs 3.88 crore), Bharti Infratel Ltd (over Rs 6 crore), Interglobe Aviation Ltd (over Rs 4 crore), DCM Shriram Limited (Rs 2 crore), Chambal Fertiliser and Chemicals Ltd (over Rs 2 crore).
The other donors to the said trust include Hero Motorcorp Ltd (over Rs 11 crore), DLF Limited (over Rs 20 crore) and a Delhi based individual identified as Akhil Gupta (Rs 2 crore).
The EC had issued a set of five guidelines in this regard earlier, stating there was a “legal vacuum” in respect of disclosure of contribution reports by the electoral trusts to it and the Income Tax department.
These trusts are registered as non-profit ventures under Section 8 of the Companies Act.
The trust said it donated a total amount of Rs 853,720,000 for political purposes during the 2013-14 fiscal while some of the balance amount was used for administrative purposes and the rest was carried forward.
All the 18 donations, the trust said in its filing to CBDT and EC, were received through account payee cheques except one which was obtained through the RTGS mode of bank deposits.
The new guidelines framed by the EC in this regard state all the electoral trusts are required to “submit an annual report of contributions to the Commission before the due date of filing of Income Tax returns”.
The reports have to contain details of contributions received from any person, company or entity in a financial year with the name and address of the donors and details of all donations given to political parties in a financial year.
The trusts are supposed to furnish the name of individual donors and entities along with their Permanent Account Number (PAN), the serial number of the cheque, demand draft, RTGS or NEFT from which the donation is made and the name of the bank branch from where it was generated.