Electoral bonds benefited BJP the most, cut cash component of donations – By Srinivasan Ramani
A break-up of the donations made to two major national parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, and revealed in their audited annual statements for the last two fiscals shows that the implementation of the electoral bonds scheme has substantially reduced the cash component of donations. But equally this has also coincided with a reduction in the proportion of donations that are declared contributions (that are above ₹20,000 and where the donors are known). This has in effect provided anonymity to some large contributors.
There has also been a significant skew in favour of the ruling party in the issuance of electoral bonds – the BJP received ₹210 crore of the overall ₹221 crore redeemed in financial year 2017-18. The Congress received only ₹5 crore and the rest of the parties, ₹6 crore. The government had stated in the Lok Sabha that in FY 2018, 520 electoral bonds worth ₹222 crore were issued, of which 511, worth ₹221 crore, were redeemed.
In a petition being heard in the Supreme Court, the Association for Democratic Reforms has argued against the anonymity-based funding scheme, as that makes it possible for black money to be donated to parties through shell companies.…
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