Who funds the political parties in India. This shall mostly remain a mystery for the public in all times to come as 75-80% funds flow in from faceless donors, that need not reveal their identities as per a carefully crafted law, benefiting all political parties across the spectrum.

Seven national parties declared a total income of Rs 1,559.17 crore in 2016-17, with BJP having the highest – Rs 1,034.27 crore, says a report.

“This forms 66.34 percent of the total income of national parties added together during 2016-17,” Delhi-based think-tank Association for Democratic Reforms said in a report released today. The data has been compiled from Income Tax returns filed by the parties across the country.

The Indian National Congress followed with Rs 225.36 crore – 14.45 percent of the total income, the report said. Between 2015-16 and 2016-17, the income of BJP increased by 81.18 percent while that of Congress decreased by 14 percent. In contrast, CPI has declared the lowest income of Rs 2.08 crore which forms a mere 0.13 percent.

The BJP and Congress have declared donations or contributions as one of their three main sources of income.

Grants/donations/contributions of Rs 997.12 crore declared by BJP formed 96.41 percent of the total income of the party during 2016-17. Declaration of Rs 115.64 crore under revenue from issuance of coupons by Congress forms the top most income of the party, contributing 51.32 percent of the total income of the party during 2016-17    |    ADR Report

The maximum expenditure for BJP during 2016-17 was towards election/general propaganda, which amounted to Rs 606.64 crore followed by expenses towards administrative cost. The Congress spent the maximum Rs 149.65 crore on election expenditure followed by expenditure of Rs 115.65 crore on administrative and general expenses, the report said.

Financial Income political parties

Together, India’s seven national parties declared a total expenditure of Rs 1,228.26 crore, the report added.

Seven national parties have collected a maximum of 74.98 percent (Rs 1,169.07 crore) income from voluntary contributions for 2016-17. During 2016-17, national parties received Rs 128.60 crore income from interest from banks and fixed deposits. The report added that 7.98 percent or Rs 124.46 crore was the income generated through revenue from issuance of coupons by national parties during 2016-17.
black money political funding
 Here are the other highlights of the ADR report.
  • BJP declared the maximum expenditure of Rs 710.05 crore in 2016-17, while Congress incurred a total expenses of Rs 321.66 crore (Rs 96.30 crore more than its total income).
  • BSP’s total income was Rs 173.58 crore during 2016-17, while its total expenditure was Rs 51.83 crore. BSP’s income increased by 266.32 percent from Rs 47.38 crore during 2015-16 to Rs 173.58 crore in 2016-17.
  • NCP’s total income increased by 88.63 percent from Rs 9.137 crore during 2015-16 to Rs 17.235 crore in 2016-17.
  • Between 2015-16 and 2016-17, the income of AITC decreased by 81.52 percent and that of CPM fell by 6.72 percent.
  • 70 percent of the total income of BSP, 31 percent of the total income of BJP and CPI and 6 percent of the total income of CPM during 2016-17 was declared unspent.

ADR had earlier released the “Analysis of Income & Expenditure of National Political Parties for FY2016-2017” on Feb. 7, 2018 without the details of BJP and Congress as the audit reports of these parties were not available in the public domain.

Also Read: Prashant Bhushan’s PIL Exposes Political Funding: SC Directs Govt To Respond

The due date for submission of annual audited accounts for the parties was Oct. 30, 2017. BJP submitted its audited report on Feb. 8, 2018 (delayed by 99 days) and Congress on March 19, 2018 (delayed by 138 days).

In its observation, ADR said that four out of seven national parties (BJP, Congress, NCP and CPI) have consistently delayed submitting their audit reports for the past five years.

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