Top political parties fail to account for donations over Rs 450 crores in 5 years
This is a violation of SC judgment which states no part of Form 24A submitted by political parties providing details of donations above Rs 20,000 should be blank.
National parties failed to account for 5569 donations worth Rs 453.61 crores over five years (from 2012-13 to 2017-18), the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) writes in its analysis of discrepancies in PAN details in contributions reports.
“Between FY 2012-13 and 2017-18, National Parties declared donations (above Rs 20,000) having undeclared, incomplete or incorrect PAN details, amounting to a total of 5569 donations worth Rs 453.61 cr,” said the association in its latest report.
This is a violation of Supreme Court judgment which states no part of Form 24A submitted by political parties providing details of donations above Rs 20,000 should be blank. All donors who have donated a minimum of Rs 20,000 as single or multiple donations should provide their PAN details.
In 2017-18, four out of seven national parties – Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India- Marxists did not declare PAN details of 219 donations through which the parties collected a total of Rs 4.95 crore. Similar observations were made in financial years 2016-17, 2015-16, 2014-15, 2013-14 and 2012-13, as shown in table below.
|Donations with Undeclared, Incomplete or Incorrect PAN details in National parties'
Contributions Reports (FY 2012-13 to FY 2017-18)
|Financial Year||Undeclared PAN||Incomplete/Incorrect PAN|
|Number of donations||Donations (Rs in cr)||Number of donations||Donations (Rs in cr)|
|Total||5437 donations||Rs 438.96 cr||132 donations||Rs 14.65 cr|
Of the total donations declared by national parties without PAN details in the five-year period, BJP declared the highest donations amounting to Rs 281.55 crores, followed by Congress which collected donations worth Rs 150.59 crores, and CPI with such donations worth Rs 5.07 crores.
During 2014-15 when Lok Sabha Elections were held, national parties declared the highest amount of donations with no PAN details worth Rs 275.76 cr via 705 donations and the highest amount of donations with incomplete/incorrect PAN details of Rs 6.887 cr made though nine donations.
The seven national parties are – BJP, Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Trinamool Congress, Communist Party of India and CPI (Marxist).
In its recommendations, ADR writes, “It is suggested that the ECI publicizes on its website details of the action taken (if any) against political parties that fail to provide required details (such as name, address, PAN and mode of payment) of individuals, companies or entities making donations in cash. Incomplete contributions reports having missing or incorrect PAN/mode of payment details must be returned to the parties by the ECI, to deter them from providing incomplete information. The National and Regional political parties must provide all information on their finances under the Right to Information Act. This will go a long way in strengthening political parties, elections, and democracy.”