Nearly Rs. 1400 crores tax exempt income earned by the political parties in two years
Under section 13 A of Income Tax Act 1961, the political parties are exempt from income tax but are required to maintain a book of account for donations or income above Rs. 20,000.
Reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that in the past two years, the tax-exempted income of 13 major political parties of the country has totaled Rs 1,381 crore. The figures for the political parties show that nearly 80 % of the donations were given to the Congress and BJP.
During the two year span of 2012-14, the Congress had a tax- exempted income of Rs 743.76 crore out of which Rs 318.08 crore were for the first year which rose to Rs 425.68 crore in 2013-24. BJP had an income of Rs 17.42 crore in 2012-13 which jumped to Rs 321.53 crore in 2013-14 thus totaling to Rs 338.95 crore for the two year span.
As per the information provided by the Income-Tax department, in 2013-14, the income tax exempt income of the political parties is as under:
Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (SP) - Rs 164 crore,
Bahujan Samajwadi party (BSP) headed by Mayawati - Rs 20.76 crore,
CPI (M) - Rs 92.90 crore,
CPI - Rs 2.62 crore,
JD(U) - Rs 13 crore,
RLD Rs 4.48 crore, and
Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD - Rs 41,411.
In 2012-13, the income tax exempted income of the political parties were as under:
SP - Rs 30 crore,
BSP - Rs 8.99 crore,
CPI - Rs 1.55 crore,
CPI(M) - Rs 40.73 crore,
JD(U) - Rs 2.70 crore,
RLD - Rs 97.90 lakh, and
JD(S) - Rs 46.99 lakh.
The CIC had ordered that the six national political parties are covered under the ambit of the RTI Act and had directed them to appoint public information officers (PIO) but the same is yet to be implemented.