BJP Tops List of Political Parties in Bihar With Highest Donations Sans PAN Disclosures: ADR Report
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The party-wise donations (above Rs 20,000) declared without PAN details of donors show the BJP declared the highest such contributions ( Rs 237.22 crore), followed by the Congress and CPI.
- News18.com New Delhi
- Last Updated: October 6, 2020, 23:08 IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tops the list of political parties in Bihar in non-disclosure of crucial information, including PAN details, mode of payment for donations, and names and addresses of donors.
This has been found by the Association for Democratic Reforms following analysis of data available with the Election Commission of India.
In a recently released report, ADR analysed the status of submission of contribution reports of national and regional parties (that contest elections in Bihar) for the period of financial year 2014-15 to 2018-19 focusing on the incomplete disclosure of information made by political parties.
An analysis of donations statements filed by 11 parties with the EC showed “there is incomplete, incorrect or non-disclosure of details of donations in some cases as declared by national and regional parties each year,” said the report of ADR.
PAN Column Blank
According to Form 24A of the Election Commission, political parties are required to provide the details of the contributions received by them.
They are required to prepare a report providing details of contributions in excess of Rs 20,000 from any donor in a financial year (between April 1 and March 31) to the Election Commission, every year by September 31. This is required under Section 29C (1) of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, to avail 100 per cent tax exemption.
The total amount of donations, above Rs 20,000, declared by the 11 political parties analysed in their contribution reports was Rs 2,777.97 crore.
The analyses found that between FY 2014-15 and 2018-19, the 11 parties declared 3,468 donations to the tune of Rs 325.23 crore without declaration of PAN details.
The party-wise donations (above Rs 20,000) declared without PAN details of donors show the BJP declared the highest such contributions -- 1,837 amounting to Rs 237.22 crore or 72.94% of the total such donations -- followed by the Congress (Rs 81.87 crore) and CPI (Rs 5.04 crore).
The data also revealed that between FY 2014-15 and 2018-19, PAN details of a total of 3,468 donations were not declared, while the details provided in case of 128 donations were incorrect.
“The highest number of such donations having undeclared or incorrect PAN details were declared by BJP (1,899) followed by INC (678) & RLSP (558).”
The highest value of such donations (705) at Rs 275.75 crore were declared by these parties during the FY 2014-15 when the Lok Sabha elections were held that brought Narendra Modi to power as the prime minister.
The 11 political parties analysed in this report declared 128 donations worth Rs 15.75 crore with incorrect PAN between FY 2014-15 and FY 2018-19.
The BJP constituted 60.19% or Rs 9.48 crore of the total such donations, followed by the Congress (Rs 5.88 crore) and CPM (Rs 35.70 lakh).
The parties declared the highest donations with incorrect PAN worth Rs 6.88 crore in the FY 2014-15.
Recommendations by ADR
The report raises concerns about the democratic processes in the country despite the Supreme Court judgment on September13, 2013, that read “declaring that no part of a candidate’s affidavit should be left blank.”
Similarly, the report suggested, “no part of the Form 24A submitted by political parties providing details of donations above Rs 20,000 should be blank.”
The ADR further recommended that “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,” it added.
“It is proposed that the ECI upload on its website a status of submission (including the names of parties that submitted on time, delayed the submission and failed to submit at all) of the contribution reports of all registered political parties for the respective financial years for the information of the general public.”
It also urged the Election Commission to publish on its website details of the action taken (if any) against political parties that fail to provide required details (such as name and address) of individuals, companies or entities making donations in cash.
Stating that national and regional parties lead by example, ADR said they should file complete and correct statements of donations to the ECI well in time for public scrutiny to encourage financial transparency.
“Parties not adhering to the dead line fixed by the ECI should be penalised by making them liable to pay tax on 100% of their income from various sources,” it said.