The Newstuff

India's ruling party BJP is getting richer every year with skyrocketing values of assets. In what appears to be a rain of money for the saffron party, a report published by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has revealed that the BJP is the wealthiest political party in India with a majority of share in the total assets value of the top national parties.

According to the report published by ADR, the BJP had assets worth Rs 6,064 crore in the financial year of 2021-2022. It was an increase of Rs 1,050 crore in the asset value of what it had in the year before. The report has further revealed that over half of all BJP assets were in the form of fixed deposits and the saffron party also accounts for 68 per cent of the assets of all national political parties in the country.

On how it gathered the fortune of these national parties, the ADR said, "Source for the data used in the report are the audited accounts submitted by the political parties to the Income Tax Department and the Election Commission of India." The assets and liabilities of eight national parties during the financial year 2021-2022 - BJP, Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Bahujan Samaj Party, National People's Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Communist Party of India, and the Trinamool Congress were analysed by ADR.

While BJP had assets of Rs 6,064 crore in the financial year 2021-22, the Congress party was worth Rs 805 crore during the same period and it had reported an increase of assets of Rs 110 crore in a year. The total asset value of all the eight parties including BJP is Rs 8,829 crore, of which BJP alone had accounted for whopping Rs 6,064 crore and the rest of Rs 2,500 crore is shared by the remaining seven parties.

While the Congress party was worth Rs 805 crore, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had Rs 735 crore, Bahujan Samaj Party had Rs 690 crore, Trinamool Congress had Rs 458 crore, Nationalist Congress Party had Rs 74.54 crore, Communist Party of India had Rs 15.72 crore, and National People's Party had Rs 1.8 crore in the financial year 2021-22.

The total assets of all national parties, from 2004-2005 to 2021-2022, had increased by 1,947 per cent from Rs 431.33 crore to Rs 8,829 crore. The ADR report has also revealed that while the national political parties had amassed a good scale of wealth in 2021-22 than in the year before, the liabilities of these parties had significantly and consistently plummeted since 2016-17.

The total liabilities of these parties had plunged from Rs 103 crore to Rs 62 crore in the year between 2021 and 2022. On the front of which party has more liabilities, it came to light that the Congress party was bearing the maximum liability of Rs 41.95 crore, followed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) with Rs 12.21 crore. On the other hand, BJP had a minimal liability of just Rs 5 crore.

Besides revealing the assets and liabilities of the national parties, the ADR report has also highlighted that these national parties had defied the guidelines issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), which were rolled out to bring more transparency.

The Print has quoted the ADR report underlining, "ICAI guidelines, on auditing of political parties which were also endorsed by the ECI (Election Commission of India) in order to improve transparency in the finances of political parties, remain guidelines only and have not been actively taken up by the political parties as a mandatory procedure to disclose details of their income. These guidelines were meant to standardize the format of financial statements of parties apart from improving disclosure of income, expenditure, assets, liabilities of the unique association, and political parties."

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