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BJP beats Congress on corporate purse

New Delhi, Jan. 8: Corporate donations constituted 87 per cent of national parties’ “known sources” of income between 2004-05 and 2011-12, according to an NGO report that suggests the BJP received more than the ruling Congress.

The parties received Rs 435.87 crore from “known sources”, of which Rs 378.89 crore came from business houses, says the report by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR). It adds that “known” sources accounted for only 25 per cent of the parties’ funds.

The BJP received Rs 192.47 crore from 1,334 corporate/ business donors, says the report. This was 11.6 per cent more than the Congress’s Rs 172.25 crore, from 418 donors.

The largest contributor was the General Electoral Trust of the Aditya Birla Group. It was the biggest for both parties, having shelled out Rs 36.41 crore for the Congress and Rs 26.57 crore for the BJP, the report said.

The maximum sum came from the manufacturing sector (Rs 99.71 crore from 595 donors) followed by real estate (Rs 24.10 crore from 340 entities). The smallest amount came from hospital chains (Rs 14 lakh from 16 donors).

The ADR analysed income statements filed by the parties for the eight years. Parties are required to submit details of donors who have made contributions above Rs 20,000 in a financial year to the Election Commission.

The report suggests how India Inc has been more generous towards the BJP, even during the Congress-led UPA’s first term in power from 2004 to 2009. The Congress received Rs 80 crore and the BJP Rs 82 crore in this period.

The gap widened during 2009-2012, with the BJP’s purse leapfrogging to Rs 110 crore against the Congress’s Rs 92 crore.

After the Electoral Trusts Scheme was launched last year, most business houses have chosen to fund parties under this programme.

The scheme was introduced to streamline the process and bring in more transparency in corporate donations to parties for poll-related expenses. Around Rs 105.86 crore was donated by six electoral trusts to the national parties, the report said.

The pattern of corporate funds, too, differed for the BJP and the Congress. The BJP received the maximum donations from manufacturing (Rs 58.18 crore), and power and oil (Rs 17.06 crore).

Mining, construction, export/ import handed in most of their donations, of around Rs 23.07 crore, to the Congress.