Are the financial statements of the political parties in the public domain?
According to a claim by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) based on the analysis of the funds received by six national political parties, more than 75 % of the funds received by them were anonymous. As per their data analysis, Rs 4,895.96 crore were received between 2004-2005 and 2011-2012 by the political parties of which only 8.9% was from known donors. As per the scrutiny, nearly Rs 3,674.50 crore collected by Congress, BJP, NCP, CPI, CPM and BSP combined which turns out to be 75.5% of the total receipts, were from unidentified sources. Funds were also raised by the political parties from sale of coupons and also as donations from electoral trusts.
ADR has analysed the income tax returns and financial statements submitted to the Election Commission. The analysis brings out certain startling facts:
- Congress received the largest amount (Rs 1,951.07 crore or 82.5%) in anonymous donations.
- In terms of percentage, the NCP received the highest proportion of nameless donations at Rs 181.48 crore or 91.58%.
- BJP - 73% funds were from unknown sources.
- BSP - 61.8% of donors were unknown.
Activists have raised the issue of opacity in the funding of the financial parties which seems to be getting strength from the revelation that over three-fourth of the funding of political party comes from mysterious sources.
Following the Central Information Commission (CIC) order declaring the political parties as public authorities, the proposal to amend the RTI Act has been referred to the parliamentary committee. Readers may refer to “The amendment to RTI Act to exclude the political parties deferred” - http://www.rtifoundationofindia.com/amendment-rti-act-exclude-political-parties-deferr