National

Aditya Birla group is top corporate donor to Cong, BJP

| Updated on: Jan 08, 2014
image caption

Torrent Group comes next; BJP biggest recipient of funding

Business houses spanning sectors, such as manufacturing, power & oil, mining and real estate, donated Rs 378.89 crore to political parties in the last eight years.

In fact, business donations constituted 87 per cent of the total contribution to political parties from known sources, establishing the growing link between corporate money and politics, says an analysis by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Among corporates, the Aditya Birla group was the top donor to both the key national parties -- Congress and BJP-- followed by the Gujarat-based Torrent Power, as declared by the parties to the Election Commission.

Congress and BJP also received foreign funding between 2003-04 and 2011-12 of Rs 983.50 lakh and 1,942.50 lakh, respectively, by companies such as the Vedanta group (Sesa Goa, The Madras Aluminium Co, Sterlite Industries), Public and Political Awareness Trust of Vedanta, Hyatt Regency and Dow Chemicals.

“Political parties are not permitted to accept contributions from foreign companies or companies controlled in India by foreign companies,” said ADR, which has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court seeking action against the two national parties.

Among the national parties, BJP got the maximum corporate donations of Rs 192.47 crore from 1,334 entities, followed by Congress, which got Rs 172.25 crore from 418 corporate/business donors.

Sector-wise dole

The highest political donations were made by firms in the manufacturing sector (595 donations worth Rs 99.71 crore), followed by 340 donations (Rs 24.10 crore) from the real estate sector. The communications sector (including media) donated Rs 13.26 crore, followed by Rs 3.67 crore by the shipping & transport business.

Congress seemed a favourite with the mining, construction, export/import sector which donated Rs 23.07 crore to the party, while the BJP got the highest donations from the realty sector at Rs 17.01 crore.

Electoral trusts, too, donated the maximum amount of Rs 70.28 crore to the Congress (which has been ruling at the Centre since 2004) , while the BJP got the highest amount from the manufacturing sector at Rs 58.18 crore, followed by Rs 17.06 crore from the power & oil sectors.

Interestingly, 301 donors contributing Rs 25.28 crore to these national parties have not declared either their PAN details or address in the contribution form.

Political parties are required to submit details of donors who have donated Rs 20,000 in a financial year to the Election Commission. About 75 per cent of the sources of funding of political parties is, however, unknown, says ADR.

For 2012-13, other than Congress and CPI(M), no other national party has submitted its donations report, ADR said.

>aditi.n@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 13, 2018

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