Four National Political Parties in the year FY 2017-18, , BJP, INC, CPI and CPM had not declared PAN details of 219 donations through which the parties collected a total of Rs 4.95 cr. Similar observations were made after the analysis of donations received by National Parties for FY 2016-17, FY 2015-16, FY 2014-15, FY 2013-14 and FY 2012-13. These are the findings of a report of the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).
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This report, prepared by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), focuses on the incomplete disclosure of information such as undeclared, incomplete and incorrect PAN details provided in the Contributions Reports of National Political Parties covering the period of Financial Year 2012-13 to 2017-18, as submitted to the Election Commission of India (ECI).
As per rule 85B of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, the Contributions Report is required to be submitted in Form 24A, before the due date for furnishing a return of its income of that financial year under Section 139 of the Income-Tax Act, to the ECI. Details of the contributions received by parties which are to be provided as per Form 24A include name, address, PAN, mode of payment and amount contributed by each donor who has made donation above Rs 20,000 in their submission. An analysis of donations statements filed by the parties with the ECI shows that there is incomplete, incorrect or non-disclosure of PAN information of donations in some cases as declared by National Parties each year.
ADR, in its latest report on Analysis of Donations received by National Political Parties – FY 2017-18, found that of the 7 National Parties, four parties, BJP, INC, CPI and CPM had not declared PAN details of 219 donations through which the parties collected a total of Rs 4.95 cr. Similar observations were made after the analysis of donations received by National Parties for FY 2016-17, FY 2015-16, FY 2014-15, FY 2013-14 and FY 2012-13.
1. Year-wise donations (above Rs 20,000) with undeclared, incomplete or incorrect PAN details of donors
Chart: Donations with Undeclared, Incomplete or Incorrect PAN details in Contributions Reports of National Parties,
FY 2012-13 to 2017-18
- 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.
- During this period, National Parties declared a total of 5437 donations worth Rs 438.96 cr (96.77%) without PAN details.
- A total of 132 donations worth Rs 14.65 cr (3.23%) were declared by National Parties in their Contributions Report, submitted from FY 2012-13 to 2017-18, with incomplete or incorrect PAN information.
- During the FY 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 or 62.82% (705 donations) and the highest amount of donations with incomplete/incorrect PAN details of Rs 6.887 cr or 47.01% (9 donations).
Chart: Donations declared without PAN details by BJP and INC, FY 2012-13 to 2017-18
- Between FY 2012-13 and 2017-18, National Parties declared maximum donations without PAN details worth Rs 275.76 cr (62.82%) for FY 2014-15 followed by Rs 106.05 cr (24.16%) for the FY 2013-14.
- Of the total donations declared by National Parties without PAN details during FY 2012-13 to 2017-18, BJP declared the highest donations amounting to Rs 281.55 cr (64.14%), followed by INC which collected donations worth Rs 150.59 cr (34.31%) and CPI with such donations worth Rs 5.07 cr (1.16%).
- During FY 2014-15, BJP and INC declared maximum donations without PAN details in their Contributions Reports, amounting to Rs 203.772 cr and Rs 70.985 cr respectively.
3. Party-wise donations (above Rs 20,000) with incomplete/incorrect PAN details of donors
Chart: Party-wise donations with incomplete/incorrect PAN in Contributions Reports, FY 2012-13 to 2017-18
BJP collected the highest donations worth Rs 8.10 cr (55.29%), having incomplete/incorrect PAN details of donors during this period. 85.02% or Rs 6.887 cr of its total donations having incomplete/incorrect PAN were collected in FY 2014-15.
- INC did not declare complete/correct PAN of donations worth Rs 5.614 cr (38.32%), second highest during the period from FY 2012-13 to 2017-18. 95.30% of its total such donations worth Rs 5.35 cr were collected in FY 2016-17.
- No donations declared by AITC and CPI between FY 2012-13 and 2017-18 had incomplete/incorrect PAN details of donors.
4. Types of non-disclosure of donations (above Rs 20,000) with incomplete/incorrect PAN details of donors
Chart: Donations with missing/incorrect PAN details in Contributions Reports of National Parties, FY 2012-13 to 2017-18
- Of the total donations, National Parties declared a total of 77 donations worth Rs 6.825 cr (46.59%) having incorrect arrangement of alphabets and numbers in PAN.
- INC collected the highest amount of such donations of Rs 5.502 cr from 15 donations, followed by BJP which collected 25 donations worth Rs 1.09 cr having incorrect arrangement of alphabets and numbers.
- Between FY 2012-13 and 2017-18, National Parties declared a total of 55 donations of Rs 7.824 cr (53.41%) having missing alphabets and numbers in their PAN.
- BJP collected maximum number of these donations (28 donations) worth Rs 7.01 cr followed by INC which declared a contribution of Rs 11.2 lakhs from 13 donations in its Contributions Report.
Chart: Donations having missing/incorrect PAN details declared in Contributions Reports, FY 2012-13 to 2017-18
Chart: Sector-wise donations with incomplete PAN details declared by National Parties, FY 2012-13 to 2017-18
47 donations collected by National Parties from corporate/business houses having incomplete PAN details of donors worth Rs 13.67 cr (93.31%) while such donations from individuals amounted to Rs 98 lakhs (6.69%) or 85 donations.
- BJP collected the highest amount of donations with incomplete PAN details from corporate/business houses worth Rs 7.55 cr (55.23%) from 29 donations followed by INC which collected 3 donations of Rs 5.42 cr (39.65%).
- From individual donors, BJP declared 24 donations worth Rs 55 lakhs having incomplete details of PAN followed by CPM which collected 34 such donations from individuals worth Rs 20.8 lakhs.
- The Supreme Court gave a judgment on September 13, 2013 declaring that no part of a candidate’s affidavit should be left blank. Similarly, no part of the 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 a single or multiple donations should provide their PAN details.
- The National Parties should, ideally, lead by example by filing complete and correct statements of donations to the ECI well in time for public scrutiny so as to encourage financial transparency.
- 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.
- Annual scrutiny of donations reports of National, Regional and unrecognized parties should be initiated by a dedicated department of the CBDT, to discourage donations from shell companies or illegal entities.