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Most fund donors for political parties unknown

New Delhi, Sep 14 (): A major chunk of funding for political parties comes from donors whose identity is not revealed, says a study report prepared by Association for Democratic Reforms .

75% of the donors to the six national political parties from 2004-05 to 2011-12 are unknown. The report says that in eight years, these political parties declared income that stands at Rs 4895,96 crore collectively.

Going through the IT returns, it was found that donors whose identity was revealed accounted for Rs 435.85 crore which is 8% and from asset sales, membership fee, interest on bank deposits, party publications sale income accounted for Rs 785 crore which is 16% of the income. The rest of the money comes from donors whose identity is not revealed. These mysterious donors have contributed Rs 3674,50 crore.

The six political parties whose IT statements from 2004 to 2012 are the ruling Congress, opposition parties Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India (Marxist)(CPM), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Communist Party of India (CPI), and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). These political parties’ statements before the Election commission were also taken into account.

The Central Information Commission which governs the RTI (Right to Information) has passed an order that these six political parties’ accounts should be open to public scrutiny under the RTI law. This move was checkmated with a united house bringing in the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2013 which gives immunity to political parties from providing information .

With protests from many in social media, the government postponed it and sent the Bill to a standing committee to study it. Around 2.16% donations came from six electoral trust in the eight years barring 2010-11. These trusts contributed Rs 2545.36 crore.

Cash donations accounted for 90% of donations to Congress and 67% for BJP. ADR survey studied 31 elections that were held during 2004-12. At present, donations below Rs 20,000 need not be accounted to any donor and this route is used to bring in money to the party. The reason political parties give is that as little as 50 paise is collected from public for party funds and these cannot be accounted.

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