Association of Democratic Rights (ADR) and National Election Watch release a report analysising donations received by political parties in India
Analysis of Donations and Income
Donations from Electoral Trusts
Donations from Corporates/Companies
Status of filing of Contribution reports by political parties to Election Commission:
J&K National Conference
Jammu & Kashmir
J&K Peoples Democratic Party
All India Trinamool Congress
Indian National Lok Dal
Asom Gana Parishad
Bodoland Peoples Front
Manipur State Congress Party
Save Goa Front
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha
Muslim League Kerala State Committee
United Democratic Party
Mizo National Front
Mizoram Peoples Conference
Zoram Nationalist Party
Nagaland Peoples Front
Laws relating to donations to Political Parties
Section 29C of the Representation of People Act, 1951 states that Political Parties are required to submit contribution details received in excess of Rs 20,000 from any individual or a company. This section has been interpreted by Political Parties as to include every single donation made only above Rs 20,000 by any person at one time. However, as per the provisions of this section, it must also include in it, multiple donations made by the same person, entity or company aggregating to Rs 20,000 or above during the said financial year.
In addition to this, the coupon system adopted by Political Parties makes it difficult to establish the identity of the donor since coupons are issued in lieu of receipts and transactions are made in cash. This implies that a lot of cash donations received remain unaccounted for in the books of accounts since only those amounts for which a receipt has been issued would be accounted for. These donation coupons are ostensibly below Rs 20,000 though these may aggregate to be more than Rs 20,000.
Thus, it is vital to have a strict regulatory mechanism wherein political parties have to report the correct quantum and source of donations received.
The Way Forward
The ADR has demanded that the following steps to be taken:
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