The Association for Democratic Reforms said seven national parties collected Rs 2,172 crore from unknown sources in 2021-22 and 83.41 per cent of the income from unknown sources came through electoral bonds.
More than 66 per cent of the total income of the seven national parties in 2021-22 came from electoral bonds and unknown sources, as per a report by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
The income of seven parties – BJP, Congress, TMC, NCP, CPI, CPI(M) and the National People’s Party – from unknown sources was 66.04 per cent.
ADR, an NGO working for electoral reforms, citing official data, said seven national parties collected Rs 2,172 crore from unknown sources in 2021-22. 83.41 per cent of the income (Rs 1,811.94 crore) from unknown sources came through electoral bonds.
An analysis of Income Tax Returns and donation statements filed with the Election Commission of India (ECI) shows that income sources of these parties remain largely unknown.
WHAT IS UNKNOW INCOME SOURCE?
According to ADR, an unknown source is income declared in the annual audit report by political parties but without giving the source of income.
Unknown sources include donations via electoral bonds, sale of coupons, relief fund, miscellaneous income, voluntary contributions, and contributions from meetings.
At present, political parties are not required to reveal the names of individuals or organisations giving less than Rs 20,000 and those who donate via electoral bonds. As a result, more than 66 per cent of the funds cannot be traced.
As per the ADR report, the BJP declared Rs 1,161 crore as income from unknown sources in 2021-22, which is 53.45 per cent of the total income of national parties from unknown sources.
The income of the BJP is Rs 149.86 crore more than the aggregate of income from unknown sources declared by the other six national parties.
The TMC declared Rs 528 crore as income from unknown sources, which is 24.31 per cent of the total income of national parties from unknown sources.
The combined income of the Congress and NCP from sale of coupons between 2004-05 and 2021-22 stands at Rs 4,398.51 crore, the ADR said.
It is to be noted that TMC’s total donations as per the audit report are worth Rs 38 lakh (excluding donations via electoral bonds) but the party has declared donations worth Rs 43 lakh in the donations statement (details of donations above Rs 20,000). Hence, there is a discrepancy in the party’s statement for FY 2021-22, the ADR report said.
The CPI has declared donations through levy, membership fee, party funds and election funds.
ADR said that for this analysis, eight national parties were considered but the BSP declared that it did not receive any funds from voluntary contributions from unknown sources of income. The total income of eight national parties in 2021-22 was Rs 3,289.34 crore.
Total income of these political parties from known sources was Rs 780.8 crore, which is 23.74% of the total income of the parties. Total income of these parties from other known sources in 2021-22 was Rs 336.3 crore, or 10.22% of the total income.