New Delhi: Seven national parties declared a total income of Rs1,559.17 crore in 2016-17, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) having the highest—Rs1,034.27 crore, says a report.

“This forms 66.34 per cent of the total income of national parties added together during 2016-17," Delhi-based think-tank Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said in a report released on Tuesday.

Indian National Congress (INC) followed with Rs225.36 crore—14.45% of the total income, it said, adding that Communist Party of India (CPI) has declared the lowest income of Rs2.08 crore which forms a mere 0.13%.

The data has been compiled from Income Tax returns filed by the parties across the country. The seven national parties declared a total expenditure of Rs1,228.26 crore, the report added. BJP declared the maximum expenditure of Rs710.05 crore in 2016-17, while Congress incurred a total expenses of Rs321.66 crore (Rs 96.30 crore more than its total income).

The report further said that 70% of the total income of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), 31% of the total income of BJP and CPI and 6% of the total income of Communist Party of India (Marxist) during 2016-17 was declared unspent. BSP’s total income was Rs173.58 crore during 2016-17, while its total expenditure was Rs51.83 crore.

Between 2015-16 and 2016-17, the income of BJP increased by 81.18% from Rs570.86 crore to Rs1,034.27 crore, while that of INC decreased by 14% from Rs261.56 crore to Rs225.36 crore.

The income of BSP increased by 266.32% from Rs47.38 crore during 2015-16 to Rs173.58 crore in 2016-17, while that of NCP increased by 88.63% from Rs9.137 crore during 2015-16 to Rs17.235 crore in 2016-17. The report further noted that between 2015-16 and 2016-17, the income of All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) decreased by 81.52% and that of CPM fell by 6.72%.

BJP and Congress have declared donations/ contributions as one of their three main sources of income. “Grants/donations/contributions of 997.12 crore declared by BJP formed 96.41 per cent of the total income of the party during 2016-17. Declaration of 115.64 crore under revenue from issuance of coupons by INC forms the top most income of the party, contributing 51.32 per cent of the total income of the party during 2016-17," ADR said.

The maximum expenditure for BJP during 2016-17 was towards election/general propaganda, which amounted to Rs606.64 crore followed by expenses towards administrative cost, Rs69.78 crore. INC spent the maximum Rs149.65 crore on election expenditure followed by expenditure of Rs115.65 crore on administrative and general expenses, the report said.

Seven national parties have collected maximum 74.98% (Rs1,169.07 crore) income from voluntary contributions for 2016-17. During 2016-17, national parties received Rs128.60 crore income from interest from banks and FD. The report added that 7.98% or Rs124.46 crore was the income generated through revenue from issuance of coupons by national parties during 2016-17.

ADR had earlier released the Analysis of Income & Expenditure of National Political Parties for FY2016-2017 on 7 February without the details of BJP and INC as the audit reports of these parties were not available in the public domain.

The due date for submission of annual audited accounts for the parties was 30 October 2017. BJP submitted its audited report on 8 February (delayed by 99 days) and Congress on 19 March (delayed by 138 days). In its observation, ADR said that four out of seven national parties (BJP, INC, NCP and CPI) have consistently delayed submitting their audit reports for the past five years.

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