A report by the Association for Democratic Reforms shows that more than 23 percent of each one’s declared income remained unspent
An analysis of the income and expenditure of the BJP and Congress in 2015-16 has been prepared by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Following are the key points from the report
The due date for submission of annual audited accounts for the parties was October 30, 2016. AITC, CPM and BSP were the only three national parties to submit the audit reports on time. BJP and INC submitted theirs almost six months after the due date.
Total income and expenditure of national political parties for 2015-2016
- Total income of the 7 national parties was Rs 1033.18 crore of which the parties spent Rs 754.45 crore and declared an unspent amount of Rs 278.73 crore (26.98% unspent of total income).
- BJP’s total declared income was Rs 570.86 crore out of which 23.13% (Rs 132.06 crore) remained unspent.
- INC declared a total income of Rs 261.56 crore but 26.11% (Rs 68.30 crore) was declared unspent.
Total income of national parties in 2015-2016
- The 7 national parties have declared a total income of Rs. 1033.18 crore, collected from all over India.
- BJP has shown the highest income with a total income of Rs 570.86 crore. This forms 55.25% of the total income of all national parties.
- INC declared the second highest income of Rs 261.56 crore which forms 25.32% of the total income of all national parties.
Comparison of total income of BJP and INC between 2014-15 and 2015-16
- The income of BJP in 2014-15 was highest among all the national parties. The party had declared a total income of Rs 970.43 crore and its income decreased by 41.17% to Rs 570.86 crore in 2015-16.
- Income of INC was second highest in 2014-15 with Rs 593.31 crore but the party also declared a decrease of 55.92% to Rs 261.56 crore during 2015-16.
Unknown sources of income of BJP and INC for 2015-2016
- Total income of BJP and INC in 2015-16: Rs 832.42 crore.
- Total income of political parties from known donors (details of donors as available from contribution report submitted by parties to Election Commission): Rs 97.27 crore, which is 11.69% of the total income of the 2 national parties during 2015-16.
- Total income of the BJP and INC from other known sources (e.g., sale of assets, membership fees, bank interest, sale of publications, party levy etc.): Rs 88.33 crore, or 10.61% of total income.
- Total income of the BJP and INC from unknown sources (income specified in the IT Returns whose sources are unknown), for 2015-16 is Rs 646.82 crore, which is 77.70% of the total income of the 2 parties from all over India.
Details of unknown sources of income as declared by the parties in their IT Returns
- Among the unknown sources of funding, maximum funds were collected under “Voluntary Contributions” by the BJP during 2015-16. A total of Rs 459.56 crore was collected under “Voluntary Contributions” which formed 80.5% of the total income from unknown sources of the BJP.
- The most preferred unknown source of funding for the INC was “Sale of coupons” under the party collected a total of Rs 167.96 crore which formed 25.97% of the party’s total income from unknown sources during 2015-16.
Recommendations of ADR
- The supreme court gave a judgment on September 13, 2013 declaring that no part of a candidate’s affidavit should be left blank. Along the same lines, we recommend that the election commission impose rules that no part of the Form 24A submitted by political parties providing details of donations above Rs 20,000 should be left blank.
- Full details of all donors should be made available for public scrutiny under the RTI. Some countries where this is done include Bhutan, Nepal, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Bulgaria, the US and Japan. In none of these countries is it possible for 75% of the source of funds to be unknown.
- Any party which does not submit its IT returns or donation statement to the ECI on or before the due date, their income should not be tax-exempted and defaulting parties should be derecognised.
- Those parties not following the ICAI guidelines for auditing of reports should be scrutinised by the IT department.
- The national political parties must provide all information on their finances under the Right to Information Act. This will only strengthen political parties, elections and democracy.