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Business News/ News / India/  Electoral bonds generated donations worth over 9,188 crore in last 6 years; BJP emerges as biggest beneficiary
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Electoral bonds generated donations worth over ₹9,188 crore in last 6 years; BJP emerges as biggest beneficiary

Electoral bond donations to political parties in India have witnessed a significant rise, with national parties seeing a 743% increase between FY 2017-18 and FY 2021-22. Corporate donations, on the other hand, showed nominal growth during the same period.

Electoral bonds are being pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties and bring transparency in political funding.Premium
Electoral bonds are being pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties and bring transparency in political funding.

Touted as a tool for transparency in election funding, Electoral bonds, generated donations worth over 9,188 crore for all political parties, put together between 2016-22. Among all the parties, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) earned 57 per cent of the total donations generated through electoral bonds, according to data released by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Between 2016-17 and 2021-22, the last year for which the data is available, seven national parties and 24 regional parties received a total donation of 9,188.35 crore through electoral bonds.

Emerging as the biggest beneficiary of electoral bonds donations, the BJP received 5,272 crore and the Congress received 952 crore, while the rest went to other parties.

Meanwhile, a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday began hearing a batch of pleas challenging the validity of the electoral bond scheme for political funding of parties.

According to the data revealed by Association of Democratic Reforms, that keeps a check on parties contesting elections, there has been a significant rise in electoral bond donations. Whereas, corporate donations showed nominal growth over the past six years. National parties witnessed a 743 per cent increase between FY 2017-18 and FY 2021-22.

Corporate donations to national parties increased by only 48 per cent during the same period, it said. Not just national parties, state parties also received a substantial proportion of their donations via electoral bonds.

Seven national parties and 24 state parties received a donation worth 16,437 crore between 016-17 and 2021-22. Out of this, 9,188.35 crore -- around 56 per cent -- were received through electoral bonds.

What is an electoral bonds scheme?

The electoral bonds scheme was introduced by the PM Narendra Modi-led government in 2017. The scheme was introduced by way of a Finance Bill and was implemented in 2018. It serves as a means for individuals and entities to donate money to registered political parties while maintaining their anonymity.

The State Bank of India (SBI) issues the bonds in denominations of 1,000, 10,000, 1 lakh, 10 lakh, and 1 crore. In July this year, the ADR data revealed that more than half of all donations made to political parties between 2016-17 and 2021-22 were through electoral bonds and the BJP received more funds than all other national parties put together.

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Published: 31 Oct 2023, 10:52 PM IST
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