42 regional parties received over Rs 676 cr through contributions

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According to the report, there are 24 regional parties who declared a part of their income as remaining unspent for 2019-20 while 18 parties spent more than the income collected during that year…reports Asian Lite News.

A total of 42 regional parties collected Rs 676.326 cr or 77.03 per cent of their total income from voluntary contributions including donations, contributions and Electoral Bonds for the financial year 2019-20, according to an analysis by the Association for Democratic Rights (ADR).

Under the voluntary contributions, political parties collected 50.97 per cent or Rs 447.498 cr of their income from donations through Electoral Bonds while other donations and contributions amounted to Rs 228.828 cr or 26.06 per cent for the financial year 2019-20, said the report. However, the total income of the 42 regional parties for the financial year 2019-20 was Rs 877.957 cr.

The income of the top 5 parties with the highest total declared income including the TRS, Shiv Sena, YSR Congress, TDP and BJD amounted to Rs 516.482 cr, 58.83 per cent of the total income of the political parties analysed collectively in the report. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has reported the highest income of Rs 130.46 cr, 14.86 per cent of the total income of all the parties analysed, followed by the Shiv Sena with an income of Rs 111.403 cr, Yuvanjana Sramika Rythu (YSR) Congress Party with an income of Rs 92.739 cr, TDP with Rs 91.53 crore and BJD with Rs 90.35 crore. Altogether 42 regional parties garnered an income of Rs 877.95 crore while only 14 parties, including TRS, TDP, YSR Congress, JD(U) and RJD, got donations through Electoral Bonds.

Out of 39 parties from the 42 political parties whose data is available for both the financial years, 23 parties have shown an increase in their income from the financial year 2018-19 to the financial year 2019-20 while 16 parties have shown a decline in their income during this period. The AIADMK reported the highest increase in its income of Rs 61.506 cr followed by the DMK and the AAP which declared a total increase of Rs 38.557 cr and Rs 30.337 cr respectively, between FY 2018-19 and FY 2019-20, said the report.

According to the report, there are 24 regional parties who declared a part of their income as remaining unspent for 2019-20 while 18 parties spent more than the income collected during that year. “TDP, BJD, DMK, SP, JDS, AJSU, JVM-P, INLD, PMK, MGP, GFP, SDF, MNF, AIFB, NPF, JKPDP, IPFT and MPC are the 18 regional parties that declared spending more than their income. BJD has declared spending highest amount of Rs 95.78 cr or 106.01 per cent more than its income,” quotes the report.

The total declared expenditure of the 42 regional parties for the financial year 2019-20 was Rs 742.535 cr. The top 5 parties that have incurred the highest expenditure are the BJD which had spent Rs 186.13 cr or 25.07 per cent, followed by the TDP which spent Rs 108.84 cr or 14.66 per cent, SHS which spent Rs 98.379 cr or 13.25 per cent, DMK which spent Rs 71.038 cr or 9.57 per cent and SP which spent Rs 55.692 cr or 7.50 per cent of the total expenditure.

62% of income for 7 national parties came from donations

More than 62 per cent of the total income of seven national parties came from donations through Electoral Bonds amounting to Rs 2993.826 cr for the financial year 2019-20 with no identity disclosed to the public.

As per the data shared by the SBI in response to ADR’s RTI application, Electoral Bonds worth Rs 3429.5586 cr were redeemed by parties in the financial year 2019-20. Out of this, a total 87.29 per cent were received by four national parties — Bharatiya Janata Party, Indian National Congress, All India Trinamool Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, said the ADR report. The total amount of Electoral Bonds declared by the national and regional parties for the financial year 2019-20 so far is Rs 3441.324 cr. The difference in the amount declared by political parties and data on Electoral Bonds redeemed received from SBI could be due to the manner in which parties report in their audit report. For example: AAP declared donations from electoral bonds under the head “Others (Electoral Bonds/Electoral Trust),” added the report.

The most common and popular source of income for the national and regional political parties for FY 2019-20, according to the ADR report, are donations through Electoral Bonds which have emerged as the most popular channel of donations to parties in the last two years. The report says, “It is to be noted that the JMM party has declared the name of the donor who donated Rs 1 crore through Electoral Bonds in its contribution report for FY 2019-20, however, this income through electoral bonds has not been declared by the party in its audit report, FY 2019-20. This raises the question as to whether political parties are aware of the donor’s identity who made contributions via electoral bonds, as can be seen in this case.”

During the financial year 2019-20, out of the 42 regional parties, the JDS, SAD, JVM-P and LJP declared receiving a total income of Rs 14.884 cr from the sale of coupons. Of all regional parties that have submitted their audit reports, 14 parties namely the TRS, TDP, YSR-C, BJD, DMK, SHS, AAP, JDU, SP, JDS, SAD, AIADMK, RJD and JMM have declared receiving donations through Electoral Bonds worth Rs 447.498 cr, which is 50.97 per cent, says the ADR report.

The most common and popular items of expenditure for regional parties for the financial year 2019-20 are election expenses, general propaganda and administrative, general expenses. Janata Dal Secular (JDS) has declared membership fees and other fees under the grants, donations, contributions for the FY 2019-20, as per the report.

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