BJP-Congress say donations, contributions are their main sources of income

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BJP declared the maximum expenditure of Rs 710.057 cr during FY-2016-17 while INC incurred a total expenditure of Rs 321.66 cr (Rs 96.30 cr more than its total income).

BJP-Congress say donations, contributions are their main sources of income

Comparison of total income of BJP & INC between FY 2015-16 and 2016-17

Between FY 2015-16 and 2016-17, the income of BJP increased by 81.18% (Rs 463.41 cr) from Rs 570.86 cr during FY 2015-16 to Rs 1,034.27 cr during FY 2016-17 while the income of INC decreased by 14% (Rs 36.20 cr) from Rs 261.56 cr during FY 2015-16 to Rs 225.36 cr during FY 2016-17 says Association for Democratic Reforms in this report.

7 National Parties (BJP, INC, BSP, NCP, CPM, CPI and AITC) have declared a total income of Rs. 1,559.17 cr, collected from all over India. The 7 National Parties declared a total expenditure of Rs 1,228.26 crore, the report also said.

The due date for submission of annual audited accounts for the parties was 30th Oct,'17. BJP submitted its audited report on 8th Feb 2018 (99 days delayed). INC submitted its audited report on 19th March 2018 (138 days delayed).

Top 3 sources of income of BJP and INC for FY-2016-2017

BJP and INC have declared donations/contributions as one of their 3 main sources of income. BJP- Rs 997.12 cr and INC- Rs 50.626 cr.

Grant/ donations/ contributions of Rs 997.12 cr declared by BJP forms 96.41% of the total income of the party during FY 2016-17. Declaration of Rs 115.644 cr Revenue from the issuance of Coupons by INC forms the topmost income of the party, contributing 51.32% of the total income of the party during FY 2016-17.

Top 3 items of expenditure of BJP and INC Parties for FY 2016-2017

The maximum expenditure for BJP during FY 2016-17 was towards Election/ General Propaganda which amounted to Rs 606.64 cr followed by expenses towards Administrative Cost, Rs 69.78 cr.

INC spent the maximum of Rs 149.65 cr on Election Expenditure followed by the expenditure of Rs 115.65 cr on Administrative and General Expenses.

All sources of income declared by National Parties: FY 2016-17

7 National parties have collected maximum 74.98% (Rs 1,169.07 cr) income from Voluntary contributions for FY- 2016-17.

During FY- 2016-17, National Parties have received Rs 128.60 cr income from Interest from Banks & FD.

7.98% or Rs 124.46 cr was income generated through Revenue from Issuance of coupons by National parties during FY- 2016-17.

BJP declares maximum expenditure of Rs 710.057 crore during 2016-17

Observations

4 out of 7 National Parties (BJP, INC, NCP and CPI) have consistently delayed submitting their audit reports for the past five years. The top major parties, BJP and INC, have delayed submitting their audit reports by an average of almost 6 months.

It is observed that the 7 National Parties' total income has increased by 51%, in other words by Rs 525.99 cr. The total income of the 7 National Parties increasing from Rs 1,033.18 cr during FY- 2015-16 to Rs 1,559.17 cr during FY- 2016-17.

7 National parties have collected maximum 74.98% (Rs 1,169.07 cr) income from voluntary contributions for FY- 2016-17. In contrast, the parties had have received 60% (Rs 616.05 cr) of their income from voluntary contributions during FY- 2015-16.

Recommendations

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 India 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.

According to the Finance Bill, 2017, Section 13A of the IT Act was amended to state that tax exemption will be given to registered political parties "Provided also that such political party furnishes a return of income for the previous year in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (4B) of section 139 on or before the due date under that section." Thus, any party which does not submit its IT returns on or before the due date, their income should not be tax-exempted and defaulting parties should be derecognized.

Those parties not following the ICAI guidelines for auditing of reports should be scrutinized 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.

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