The analysis of income-tax returns and donations received by major political parties of Goa during the financial years from 2010-11 to 2014-15 reveals that majority of the local donors of the leading political parties namely Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress Party, besides the Communist Party of India are top mining firms, which have given donations to them ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1.30 crore, during the five-year period.

The Aam Aadmi Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, on the other hand, have received donations from individuals, with the MGP not having declared its donation statements for four years from 2010-11 to 2013-14, and the statement of donation it has submitted to the Election Commission of India for the year 2014-15 showing same individual donors, donating the same amount of Rs 40,000, in the same bank on the same date, with their addresses and PAN numbers missing from the statement.

Interestingly, an amount of Rs 4 lakh collected by the AAP in Goa through 23 individual donations has only two of the donors furnishing their PAN numbers.

The report released by Goa Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms  in the city on Saturday further indicates that in spite of the exemption enjoyed by the political parties from paying income-tax under Section 13A of the Income Tax Act, not everything is transparent in the filing of I-T returns by these political parties, which is a mandatory exercise for them.

Releasing the analysis at a press conference, Bhaskar Assoldekar of the  ADR said that money flowing into the kitty of political parties is increasing over the years, with muscle power of the political parties being replaced by the money power.

The document prepared with the help of information received from the I-T department under the Right to Information Act, comes out with the data that during the five years, the BJP at the national level has the highest total declared income of Rs 2,445.87 crore, as against Congress, whose total income during the same period is Rs 2,280.43 crore. The total expenditure of the BJP during these five years is Rs 1,783.31 crore, while that of Congress is Rs 2,423.97 crore, which is more than its income.

The national level income of political parties like the Nationalist Congress Party and the CPI, during the five years stands much lower at Rs 213.77 crore and Rs 9.03 crore, respectively.

It is no wonder that the income of BJP, at the national level has increased since its government came to power at the Centre. The year-wise breakup of this income, during the five financial years is Rs 168.01 crore, Rs 309.45 crore, Rs 324.16 crore, Rs 673.82 crore and 970.43 crore, respectively. The Congress on the other hand, registered its yearly income from 2010-11 to 2014-15 as Rs 307.09 crore, Rs 356.28 crore, Rs 425.69 crore, Rs 598.06 crore and Rs 593.31 crore, respectively.

Closer home, the state BJP unit has amassed an amount of Rs 5.10 crore, during the five years, with 111 donations coming from corporate/ business houses, 34 donations from the individuals, and one from an undeclared donor. The Goa Pradesh Congress Committee, during the same period has collected Rs 5.55 crore, with 22 donations coming from corporate/ business houses, while one from an individual.

In the five financial years considered for the report, the MGP is the only political party in Goa, which has declared 100 per cent – Rs 1.81crore – of its income from the donations received, while AAP, at the national level has declared 98.38 per cent – Rs 108.27 crore – of its income from donations. The MGP has received Rs 3 lakh that is 18.58 per cent of its donations from only a single corporate/ business house – Vasantrao Mehta Co, Vasco.

The report mentions that in all, 48.44 per cent of the donors, donating an amount of Rs 5.45 crore through 54 donations have not declared their PAN numbers, while altogether 51.56 per cent of the donors, donating an amount of Rs 5.8 crore through 147 donations have declared the same. It also states that at the state level, the BJP has not declared PAN details of donors, who have donated Rs 51 lakh through 14 donations to the party.

Finally, the grand total of the collective national income of political parties namely BJP, Congress, NCP, CPI, CPI-M, AAP and MGP over the five financial years stands at a whopping Rs 5,613.26 crore.

Assoldekar  stated that under the Section 80GGB of the Income Tax Act, Indian corporate/business houses can claim tax deduction on donations to the political parties, while under the Section 80GGC, an individual can do the same, provided these donors submit their PAN number. “However, political parties are not permitted to accept contributions from the corporate/business houses registered abroad or having activities in foreign lands, under the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 1976,” he added.

Manguirish Pai Raikar told  the media stated that sale of donation coupons for collecting money, is also another modus operandi of the political parties.

“There is no control over the sale of such coupons, which are printed in denominations ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 20,000 and sold to the donors,” he maintained.

It was further informed that the analysis of I-T  returns and donations received by major political parties of Goa, for the financial year 2015-16 would be released before the forthcoming state assembly elections.

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