Electoral Bond Data Released by ECI: What to Know About It?


On March 14, the Election Commission of India posted the electoral bond data on its official website, as per the Supreme Court’s directive.

Electoral Bond Data Released by ECI: What to Know About It?

Anchor: Good evening, and welcome to the prime-time news hour. I’m your host, and tonight we delve into a topic that’s been sparking debates across the nation: the Electoral Bond data recently published by the Election Commission of India (ECI). Joining me in the studio are two esteemed guests, experts in their fields, to shed light on what this data truly reveals. Please welcome Dr. Ananya Sharma, a political analyst, and Mr. Rajesh Kumar, an economist and policy expert. Thank you both for being here.

Anchor: Dr. Sharma, let’s start with you. The electoral bond data has been eagerly anticipated. What insights can we draw from its publication?

Dr. Sharma: Thank you for having me. The publication of electoral bond data by the ECI indeed marks a significant milestone in transparency within India’s electoral financing system. The data provides us with a glimpse into the flow of funds to political parties, albeit with some limitations.

Anchor: And what are those limitations?

Dr. Sharma: One of the primary limitations is the anonymity of donors. Electoral bonds allow individuals and corporations to donate to political parties anonymously, which raises concerns about transparency and accountability. In the electoral bond data released yesterday, the sole identity on the donor side is the name of the company or individual.

To find out more about contributor organizations, we looked at their unique IDs, ran an exact name match against the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) database, and searched through the MCA’s readily available basic data. Here are a handful of the findings.

Anchor: Who donates the most money as per Electoral Bond data?
Dr. Sharma: Publicly available figures show that 1,260 companies and individuals purchased electoral bonds for ₹12,769 crores. The top 20 companies, totalling ₹5,945 crores, accounted for about half of the entire amount offered through electoral bonds. Future Gaming donated the highest amount of money.

The top 20 companies, totalling ₹5,945 crores, accounted for about half of the entire amount offered through electoral bonds.

company Name(ELECTORAL BOND DATA )RS in Crores
Future Gaming and hotel service Pvt ltdRs.1368
Medha engineering and Infra ltdRs.966
Qwik supply chain pvt. ltdRs.410
Vedanta LtdRs.400.7
Haldia Energy LtdRs.377
Essel Mining and Inds LtdRs.224.5
Western UP Power Transmission LtdRs.220
KEVENTER FOOD PARK INFRA LTDRs.195
MKJ ENTERPRISES LTDRs.192.4
MADANLAL LIMITEDRs.185.5
BHARATI AIRTEL LTDRs.183
YASHODA SUPER SPECIALITY HOSPITALRs.162
Utkal Alumina International LtdRs.145.3
DLF COMMERCIAL DEVELOPERS LTDRs.130
JINDAL STEEL AND POWER LTDRs.123
BG SHIRKE CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY PVT LTDRs.118.5
DHARIWAL INFTRASTRUCTURE LTDRs.115
Avees Trading and Finance Pvt LtdRs.112.5
TORRENT POWER LTDRs.106.5
BIRLA CARBON INDIA PVT LTDRs.105
AVEES TRADING AND FINANCE PVT LTDRs.105

Anchor: That’s certainly a crucial point. Mr. Kumar, as an economist, how do you perceive the implications of this anonymous funding on India’s political landscape?

Mr. Kumar: Indeed, the anonymity of donors through electoral bonds creates a veil over the true sources of political funding. This lack of transparency can lead to issues like quid pro quo arrangements, where donors may expect favours in return for their contributions. It also amplifies the influence of big corporations and wealthy individuals in shaping political agendas.

Anchor: So, essentially, electoral bonds could perpetuate a system where money talks louder than the citizens’ voices?

Mr. Kumar: Absolutely. The concern here is that such a system undermines the principles of democracy, where the electorate’s interests should be paramount. Instead, it opens the door for vested interests to wield disproportionate influence over policymaking.

Anchor: Dr. Sharma, turning back to you, who are the biggest individual donors in electoral bond data?

Dr. Sharma: Ms. SN Mohanty is the biggest individual donor on the list, with gifts totaling ₹45 crores. She is followed by Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, who contributed ₹35 crore.

The following is a list of the top 10 individual donations.

NAME (ELECTORAL BOND DATA AMOUNT) Rs. In Crores
1. Ms SN MOHANTYRs.45 Cr
2. LAKSHMI NIWAS MITTALRs.35 Cr
3. LAXMIDAS VALLABHDAS ASMITA MERCHRs.25 Cr
4. KR RAJ JTRs.25 Cr
5. RAHUL BHATIARs.20 Cr
6. RAJESH MANNALAL AGARWALRs.13 Cr
7. SAURABH GUPTARs.10 Cr
8. RAJU KUMAR SHARMARs.10 Cr
9.RAHUL JAGANNATH JOSHIRs.10 Cr
10 HARMESH RAHUL JoshRs.10 Cr

Anchor: How many companies show that they must have a minimum amount of capital in electoral bond data?
Dr. Sharma: Yes! For over 500 businesses, we were able to get an exact name match with the MCA database. 43 of these companies have contributed capital at the requisite minimum of ₹1 lakh.

These list the top 10 bonds purchased.

NAME(ELECTORAL BOND DATA) AMOUT IN CRORES
1. HONEYWELL PROPERTIES PVT LTD30 Cr
2. JAI BHARAT TECHNICAL SERVICES PVT LTD10.5 Cr
3. SHRI SHYAMALAJI SALES PVT LTD10 Cr
4. CYGNUS POWER INFRA SERVICES PVT LTD5.5 Cr
5. FERTILE LAND FOODS PVT LTD5 Cr
6. FUTURISTIC HANDLING SERVICES PVT LTD5 Cr
7. KVR BASELINE RESOURCES PVT LTD4 Cr
8 T SHARKS OVERSEAS EDUCATION CONSULTANCY PVT LTD4 Cr
9 PRAGATI INDIA ENTERPRISES PVT LTD3.5 Cr
10 T SHARKS INFRA DEVELOPERS PVT LTD3.5 Cr

Anchor: How many newly established companies are seen in the electoral bond data for donations?
Dr. Sharma: For over 500 businesses, we were able to get an exact name match with the MCA database. The first electoral bond was purchased on April 12, 2019, or later, in twenty-eight of these cases.

These are the top ten purchasers of electoral bonds among them.

NAME(ELECTORAL BOND DATA) AMOUNT IN RS. CRORES
1. ASKUS LOGISTICS PVT LTD22
2. SKP MERCHANTS PVT LTD8
3. AKSHAT GRREN TECH PVT LTD5
4. INDRANI PATNAIK (OPC) PVT LTD5
5. OMKARA VENTURES PVT LTD4
6. TSHARKS OVERSEAS EDUCATION CONSULTANCY PVT LTD4
7 TSHARKS INFRA DEVELOPERS PVT LTD3.5
8 PIRAMAL PHARMA LTD3
9 DANIKA TRADERS PVT LTD2.5
10 MTC ISPAT PVT LTD2.5

Anchor: How many bonds were purchased compared to net profits?
Dr. Sharma: Thirteen out of the top twenty buyers of electoral bonds have financial information available to us.

companies data as per electoral bond data as follows:

COMPANY NAME(ELECTROL BOND DATA)
TOTAL BONDS PURCHASED (RS. IN CRORES)
NET PROFIT FROM 2019-20 TO 2022-23 (RS. IN CRORES)BONDS AS SHARE OF NET PROFIT (%)
1 .Future Gaming and Hotel services Pvt ltd1,368215635
2. Medha engineering and Infra ltd9667,50912
3. Qwik supply chain pvt. ltd410109377
4. Vedanta Ltd40048,3721
6. Essel Mining Inds. Ltd3771,27430
7. M K J Enterprises Ltd2243,7006
9. Bharti Airtel Ltd19258329
8.Madanlal Ltd185101,874
1 . Future Gaming and Hotel services Pvt ltd18325372
10. Utkal alumina Intl. Ltd1453,7134
11. Jindal Steel and Power Ltd12318,4821
12. Torrent Power Ltd1065,0762
13. I F B Agro Inds. Ltd9217553

Anchor: Do you believe there are any positive aspects to the electoral bond system, despite these concerns?

Dr. Sharma: It’s important to acknowledge that the electoral bond system was introduced to promote transparency in political funding by channelling donations through banking channels. Additionally, it offers a degree of anonymity to donors, which may encourage more individuals and organizations to contribute to the democratic process without fear of reprisal.

Anchor: That’s an interesting perspective. Mr. Kumar, what reforms, if any, would you recommend to address the shortcomings of the electoral bond system?

Mr. Kumar: Several reforms could enhance transparency and accountability in political funding. Firstly, there should be mandatory disclosure of donor identities for all contributions above a certain threshold. This would provide the public with crucial information about who is financing political parties and candidates. Secondly, there needs to be stricter enforcement of existing regulations to prevent misuse of funds and ensure compliance with transparency requirements.

Anchor: Dr. Sharma, What are your thoughts on potential reforms?

Dr. Sharma: I agree with Mr. Kumar’s suggestions. Additionally, there should be greater oversight and scrutiny of the electoral bond system by independent bodies to ensure that it serves its intended purpose effectively. Moreover, there should be periodic audits of political party finances to detect any irregularities or discrepancies.

Anchor: Both of you have presented compelling arguments for reforming the electoral bond system. Now, looking ahead, what implications might this data have on future electoral processes in India?

Dr Sharma: The publication of electoral bond data sets a precedent for greater transparency in political funding, which could lead to broader discussions and reforms in this area. It may also prompt citizens to demand more accountability from their elected representatives and political parties.

Mr. Kumar: Additionally, the data could serve as a basis for further research and analysis into the dynamics of political financing in India. Understanding the flow of funds to different parties and candidates can provide valuable insights into the functioning of democracy in the country.

Anchor: Thank you both for your insightful perspectives. As we conclude, it’s evident that the publication of electoral bond data by the ECI has sparked important conversations about transparency, accountability, and the future of India’s electoral processes. We’ll continue to monitor developments in this area closely. For now, that’s all the time we have. Thank you for watching, and good night.

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FAQ

1. When was the electoral bond data released by ECI?

On March 14, the Election Commission of India posted the electoral bond data on its official website, as per the Supreme Court’s directive.

2. Who donates the most money, as per electoral bond data?

Future Gaming donates the highest amount of money. Publicly available figures show that 1,260 companies and individuals purchased electoral bonds for ₹12,769 crore. The top 20 companies, totalling ₹5,945 crores, accounted for about half of the entire amount offered through electoral bonds.

3. Who are the biggest individual donors in electoral bond data?

Ms. SN Mohanty is the biggest individual donor on the list, with gifts totalling ₹45 crores. She is followed by Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, who contributed ₹35 crore.

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