Association for Democratic Reforms analysed the total income and expenditure incurred, all over India, by the National Parties during FY 2017-18, as declared by the parties in their IT Returns submitted to the ECI. The National Parties include Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) and All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).
Refer to the complete report, attached herewith, for top sources of income and top items of expenditure of the National Parties.
Submission of audited reports by the National Parties
· The due date for submission of annual audited accounts for the parties was 30th Oct,’18.
· AITC, CPM and BSP submitted their audit reports on time while CPI submitted after one day, NCP submitted after 20 days and BJP, 24 days after the due date for submission.
· As on 17th December, 2018, INC has not yet submitted its audited reports to the ECI, more than 48 days after the due date for submission.
Due date for submission: 30th Oct,’18
Date of submission
Delay in submitting their report
48 days (As on 17-12-2018)
Total Income and Expenditure of National Political Parties for – FY-2017-2018
· BJP declared a total income of Rs 1,027.339 cr during FY- 2017-18, but spent only 74% (Rs 758.47 cr) of the total income while BSP’s total income was Rs 51.694 cr of which the party spent only 29% (Rs 14.78 cr).
· NCP is the only party to have spent more than its total income during FY- 2017-18. While declaring an income of Rs 8.15 cr, the party spent Rs 8.84 cr, an excess of Rs 69 lakhs.
Comparison of total income of National Parties between FY 2016-17 and 2017-18
· Between FY 2016-17 and 2017-18, the income of BJP decreased by 0.67% (Rs 6.93 cr) from Rs 1034.27 cr during FY 2016-17 to Rs 1027.34 cr during FY 2017-18.
· Between FY 2016-17 and 2017-18, the income of BSP decreased by 235.78% (Rs 121.88 cr) from Rs 173.58 cr during FY 2016-17 to Rs 51.694 cr during FY 2017-18 while the income of NCP decreased by 111.47% (Rs 9.085 cr) from Rs 17.235 cr during FY 2016-17 to Rs 8.15 cr during FY 2017-18.
All sources of income declared by National Parties: FY 2017-18
• 6 National parties collected 86.91% (Rs 1,041.80 cr) of their total income from Voluntary contributions for FY- 2017-18.
• During FY- 2017-18, out of the 6 National Parties, only BJP declared receiving an income of Rs 210 cr from Contribution through Electoral Bonds.
• Rs 714.57 cr was income generated through other contributions by National parties during FY- 2017-18.
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 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.