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Tatas' poll kitty swells
March 02, 2004 08:33 IST
With the Lok Sabha polls round the corner, the Tata Group has revived its Electoral Trust, which was set up before the general elections in 1999. However, this time the corpus will be much larger than the last one, which was less than Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million).
Most of the major listed Tata companies will contribute to the fund, but the group's joint ventures with multinational corporations will not.
The trust, which is independent and headed by Supreme Court lawyer Dinesh Vyas, has also worked out broad guidelines for the distribution of funds to political parties.
About 50 per cent of the new corpus will be distributed on the basis of the current composition of the Lok Sabha, while the balance will be given after the elections. The distribution of funds will depend on the new composition of Parliament.
"Though this is primarily a fund for Tata group companies, we will be open to contributions from non-Tata companies as well," said Vyas.
The corpus of the trust will be decided in the next three weeks, after the boards of the Tata group companies decide on their contribution.
"No profit-based formula exists for contributions to the fund as in the case of the Tata Brand Equity Fund. The companies are free to decide how much they wish to contribute," a Tata source said. Profits would, however, be a key factor when deciding the amount, he added.
The leading companies in the Tata stable like Tata Sons, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Indian Hotels and Tata Tea are expected to pool in. The proposal will be placed before their respective boards later this month.
The primary aim of setting up the Electoral Trust was to create an environment for donating to political parties in a transparent, non-discriminatory and non-discretionary manner, Vyas said. The other two members of the trust are D M Sukthankar, former Bombay Municipal Commissioner, and social worker Hansa Mehta.