In the first tranche of the electoral bond scheme, as much as Rs 222 crore were issued to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in March this year, reports The Economic Times.
The first cycle of the electoral bond scheme was from March 1 to 10.
The party bagged 94.5 percent of the electoral bonds and became the biggest beneficiary of the scheme launched in 2017-18.
What are electoral bonds?
Electoral bond is a bearer banking instrument to be used for funding eligible political parties. An eligible political party is the one registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly.
For BJP, the biggest source of donations came from Prudent Electoral Trust that gave the party Rs 144 crore from its Rs 169-crore kitty. BJP had raised a total of Rs 167 crore from electoral trusts in 2017-18.
While donor identity is kept anonymous under the scheme, their contribution accounts for 20.4 percent of the total funds raised by the party during the year.
In 2017-18, BJP raised about Rs 487 crore or 52.8 percent of the funds through anonymous sources. The party, in its contribution report, has declared Rs 437 crore with the details of donors.
On the other hand, Congress has not yet submitted its annual audit report. However, according to the paper, Congress could not have received more than Rs 12 crore via electoral bonds.
The party has seen a 62 percent decline in its income to Rs 225.36 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 598.06 crore in the previous year.
Other parties like Trinamool Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in their audit reports have not declared income by way of electoral bonds.
In 2017-18, BJP’s income was Rs 1,027 crore out of which the party spent Rs 758 crore. The breakup of the expenditure includes elections/general propaganda cost which was Rs 567 crore, Rs 22 crore was spent on employee and Rs 143 crore was administrative cost.