Electoral bonds count for maximum donations: Report
Three national and 22 regional parties collected 50.54 per cent or Rs 587.87 crore of their income from donations through electoral bonds for the FY 2018-19.
The audit reports of 35 political parties for the FY 2018-19 were not yet available on the Election Commission website.
The Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) carried out an analysis of income and expenditure of national and regional political parties for the FY 2018-19.
The three national parties include All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
The due date for submission of annual audited accounts for the parties was October 31. All the three national and 22 regional political parties analysed in this report submitted their audit reports on time.
Audit reports of the remaining five national parties and 30 regional parties for FY 2018-19 are unavailable on the website of the ECI, till the date of preparation of this report. These include some major political parties like BJP, INC, NCP, CPI, DMK, RJD, SHS, TDP, AIMIM, AIFB, etc.
The total income of the three national and 22 regional parties for the FY 2018-19 was Rs 1,163.17 crore.
BJD reported having the highest income of Rs 249.31 crore, which forms 21.43 per cent of the total income of all the parties analysed, followed by AITC with an income of Rs 192.65 crore or 16.56 per cent and TRS whose income was Rs 188.71 crore or 16.22 per cent of the total income of the three national and 22 regional parties analysed in this report.
The total income of the top three parties amounted to Rs 630.67 crore, which comprised 54.22 per cent of the total income of the political parties analyzed, collectively.
Out of the total of 25 political parties analysed, 17 parties have shown an increase in their income from FY 2017-18 to FY 2018-19 while six parties have shown a decline in their income during this period.
Total income of the 23 parties increased from Rs 329.46 crore in FY 2017-18 to Rs 1,155.14 crore in FY 2018-19, a total increase of 251 per cent or Rs 825.68 crore.
BJD reported the highest increase in its income of Rs 235.19 crore followed by AITC and YSR-C which declared a total increase of Rs 187.48 crore and Rs 166.84 crore respectively, between FY 2017-18 and FY 2018-19.
AITC has more than 94 per cent of its total income remaining unspent followed by NDPP and TRS having 87 per cent and 84 per cent, respectively, of their income remaining unspent for FY 2018-19.
SP, SAD, INLD, MNS, RLD & NPF are the six Regional parties that declared spending more than their income. SP has declared spending highest amount of Rs 17.12 cr or 50.65 per cent more than its income.
The total declared expenditure of the three national and 22 regional parties for the FY 2018-19 was Rs 442.73 cr.
Total expenditure incurred by the top three parties is Rs 214.75 cr or 48.51 per cent of the total expenditure as reported by the 25 political parties.
Top three parties that have incurred highest expenditure are YSR-Congress which had spent Rs 87.684 cr or 19.81 per cent, followed by CPM which spent Rs 76.150 cr or 17.20 per cent and SP which spent Rs 50.92 cr or 11.50 per cent.
The three national parties and 22 regional parties collected Rs 893.6 cr or 76.82 per cent of their total income from voluntary contributions (includes donations & contributions and electoral bonds) for FY 2018-19.
Under voluntary contributions, political parties collected 50.54 per cent or Rs 587.87 cr of their income from donations through electoral bonds while other donations and contributions amounted to Rs 305.73 cr or 26.28 per cent for FY 2018-19.
Of the three national parties analysed, only AITC declared receiving donations through electoral bonds of Rs 97.28 cr. Only five of the 22 regional parties that were analysed declared donations through electoral bonds amounting to Rs 490.59 cr.
Besides, 12.13 per cent or Rs 141.038 cr of the total income was generated through Membership & Subscriptions Fees by the three national and 22 regional parties during FY 2018-19.
Given the anonymity provided to donors by the scheme, it is seen that electoral bonds have emerged as the most common and popular channel of donations to national and regional political parties for FY 2018-19.
More than 50 per cent of the total income (Rs 587.87 cr) of the 25 political parties analysed for FY 2018-19 is received from donations through electoral bonds, which are anonymous and the identity of their donors are not disclosed to the public. Electoral bonds worth Rs 2,540 crore (approx) were redeemed by parties in FY 2018-19, indicating that it is likely that the remaining Rs 1,952 crore (approx). worth electoral bonds were encashed by parties whose audit reports are not available on the ECI website.IANS