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69 percent of total income of political parties comes from unidentified sources

By Newsd
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For more than a decade, about 69 per cent of the total income came from unknown sources, according to a report released on Tuesday by an NGO working towards electoral reforms.

A recent report released on Tuesday has claimed that almost 69 per cent of the total income of political parties comes from unknown sources. The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) , released the report and according to it, the income of 48 national amd regional political parties between 2004-05 and 2014-15 stood at Rs 11,367 crore. Out of this, Rs 7,833 crore came from unidentified  sources which are income declared in the Income Tax (IT) returns, however there source of income are not provided for donations below Rs 20,000.

One of the founding members of ADR, Trilochan Sastry explained: “The income from known donors was Rs 1,835 crore (16 per cent) and income through other known sources, such as sale of assets, membership fees, bank interest, sale of publications and party levy, was Rs 1,698 crore (15 per cent).” “However, the remaining income of Rs 7,833 crore, which works out to 69 per cent of the total income, does not have sources to attribute,”

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was the only party to declare zero donations above Rs 20,000 between 2004-2015, effectively meaning that 100 per cent of the party’s donation came from unknown sources.

The Congress’ income through unknown sources stood at 83 per cent (Rs 3,323 crore) of the total income while the BJP’s share of income from unknown sources stood at 65 per cent (Rs 2,126 crore). The Samajwadi Party had 94 percent of total income from unknown sources while the Shiromani Akali Dal had 86 per cent of total income pouring in from unknown sources.

Founder member of ADR, Jagdeep Chhokar, stressed on how transparency in political donations was imperitive to fight black money.

As per the report, the income of national parties from unknown sources increased by 313 per cent from Rs 274 crore in 2004-05 to Rs 1,131 crore in 2014-15  while as the regional parties witnessed  the hike to the tune of 652 per cent from Rs 37 crore to Rs 281 crore in the 11 years.

The office bearers of ADR stressed on the need of scrutinizing overseas donations to political parties in line with the ngos and demanded the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) audit of the accounts of the parties

With a total income of Rs 3,982 crore during 2004-15, which is 42.92 per cent of the total income of six national political parties, the Congress tops the list followed closely by the BJP which has the second highest income of (35.27 per cent) during the same time period.

The total amount of donations above Rs 20,000 declared by the six national parties was Rs 1,405 crore as per the report whit the BJP topping the list by declaring Rs 918 crore as received via voluntary contributions above Rs 20,000, which is almost twice than that declared by the Congress.