NEW DELHI — Sources of funding to national political parties remain largely unknown, an analysis has disclosed.
According to a report released by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) released on Saturday, during FY 2021-22, BJP declared Rs 1161.0484 crore as income from unknown sources which is 53.45 per cent of the total income of national parties from unknown sources (Rs 2172.231 crore). This income of BJP is Rs 149.8658 crore more than the aggregate of income from unknown sources declared by the other six national parties (Rs 1011.1826 crore).
The report said that between FY 2004-05 and 2021-22, the national parties collected Rs 17,249.45 crore from unknown sources
AITC declared Rs 528.093 crore as income from unknown sources which is 24.31 per cent of the total income of national parties from unknown sources.
Out of Rs 2172.231 crore as income from unknown sources, share of income from Electoral Bonds was Rs 1811.9425 crore or 83.4%, said the ADR report.
The report said that combined income of INC (Congress) and NCP from sale of coupons between FY 2004-05 and 2021-22 stands at Rs 4398.51 crore.
The report said that total income of eight national political parties in FY 2021-22 was Rs 3289.34 crore and total income of political parties from known donors (details of donors as available from contribution report submitted by parties to Election Commission and analysed by ADR) is Rs 780.774 crore, which is 23.74 per cent of the total income of the parties.
Total income of political parties from other known sources (sale of assets, membership fees, bank interest, sale of publications, party levy etc) is Rs 336.335 crore, or 10.22 per cent of the total income. Total income of political parties from unknown sources (income specified in the annual audit report whose sources are unknown) is Rs 2172.231 crore, which is 66.04 per cent of the total income of the parties, said the report.
The ADR report has said that out of Rs 2172.231 crore as income from unknown sources, share of income from Electoral Bonds is Rs 1811.9425 crore or 83.4 per cent.
ADR report said that income from sale of coupons declared by INC, CPI(M) & NCP) formed 6.785 per cent (Rs 147.3886 crore) of income from unknown sources while donations from voluntary contributions (below Rs 20,000) formed 9.184 per cent (Rs 199.4951 crore) in income from unknown sources of the seven national parties.
At present, political parties are not required to reveal the name of individuals or organisations giving less than Rs 20,000 nor those who donated via Electoral Bonds. As a result, more than 65% of the funds cannot be traced and are from ‘unknown’ sources.
ADR has recommended that since a very large percentage of the income of political parties cannot be traced to the original donor, 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, it is possible for more than 65% of the source of funds to be unknown, but at present it is so in India.
The unknown sources are income declared in the annual audit report but without giving source of income for donations below Rs 20,000. Such unknown sources include ‘donations via Electoral Bonds’, ‘sale of coupons’, ‘relief fund’, ‘miscellaneous income’, ‘voluntary contributions’, ‘contribution from meetings/morchas’, etc. The details of donors of such voluntary contributions are not available in the public domain, said ADR. — IANS