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Date: 
02.08.2019
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Hyderabad: In a year’s time, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s total declared assets have grown by 22 per cent. The party owned assets worth Rs 1,213. 13 crore in 2016-17 and that has increased to Rs 1,483.35 crore.

The Congress and National Congress Party are two of seven national parties that showed a decline in total value.

The “assets” of a party are fixed assets - movable, such as cash and vehicles, and immovable, such as properties, deposits made, investments, etc.

The Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), an election watch body, studied the audit reports submitted by national parties to the Election Commission of India.
 
The annual audit report studied contributions or donations, expenditure, liabilities and assets of seven national parties.

The list of those whose  assets were calculated as per the accounting standards of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, are the BJP, the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Communist Party of India (CPI), the All India Trinamul Congress, National People’s Party and Communist Party of India (CPI-M).

Explaining the process, Prof Jagdeep Chhokar of the ADR, said, “The team studies the balance sheets of these parties which indicate the accumulated wealth in form of cash, bank investments, properties (both movable and immovable). The assets were also calculated keeping in mind the ‘liabilities’ of a political party, which include borrowings from banks, unsecured loans, access to overdraft facilities.”

The report indicated that the average total assets declared by the seven national parties during FY 2016-17 amounted to Rs 465.83 crore, which increased to `493.81 crore in FY 2017-18. While the total liabilities declared by the national parties totalled Rs 514.99 crore, an average of Rs 73.57 crore per party (loans). The INC declared the highest liabilities of Rs 461.73 crore.

“National parties failed to adhere to the ICAI guidelines that direct parties to declare details of the financial institutions, banks or agencies from whom loans were taken. The guidelines specify that the parties should state the ‘terms of repayment of term loans’ on the basis of due date such as a year, 1-5 years or payable after 5 years. Which they have not done. Also, the income expenditure of political parties are rarely assessed; even the authenticity of the accounts submitted is doubtful. There should be more transparency in the funds received, spent, and withheld by the parties,” Prof Chhokar said.

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