As on 7 February, 2018, neither the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nor the Indian National Congress (INC) have yet submitted their audited reports to the ECI (Election Commission of India), more than three months after the due date for submission, reveals an analysis of income & expenditure of national political parties for FY- 2016-2017, by the Delhi-based Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The data is derived from the details provided by the national parties in their audit reports, submitted to the Election Commission of India (ECI) for the FY 2016-17.
ADR points out that the due date for submission of annual audited accounts for the parties was 30 October 2017, before which the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Communist Party if India (Marxit) (CPM) and the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) have submitted their audit reports. Submission by the CPI came 22 days after the due date. It is also noteworthy that BJP and INC have consistently defaulted in submitting copies of their audit reports to the ECI within the specified time limit.
Details regarding total income and expenditure of national political parties reveal that the  BSP declared a total income of Rs173.58 cr, but spent only 30% (Rs51.83 cr) of the total income. 
AITC declared a total income of Rs6.39 cr, but spent an excess of Rs17.87 cr (280%) over its total income.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also incurred an excess expenditure of Rs7.732 cr over its total income of Rs17.235 cr.
Data on total income of the national parties shows that 5 out of 7 national parties (BSP, NCP, CPM, CPI and AITC) have declared a total income of Rs299.54 cr, collected from all over India. With a total income of Rs173.58 cr, the BSP has shown the highest income amongst the national parties.  This forms 57.95% of the total income national parties, together during FY 2016-17.
A comparison of the total incomes of the national parties between FY 2015-16 and 2016-17 shows that the income of BJP during FY 2015-16 was the highest among all the national parties. The party had declared a total income of Rs570.86 cr but is yet to submit its copy of income tax returns for FY 2016-17 to the Election Commission of India. Between FY 2015-16 and 2016-17, the income of BSP increased by 266.32% (Rs126.195 cr) from Rs47.385 cr during FY 2015-16 to Rs173.58 cr during FY 2016-17 while the income of NCP increased  by 88.63% (Rs8.098 cr) from Rs9.137 cr during FY 2015-16 to Rs17.235 cr during FY 2016-17.
Revealing their sources of income, the national parties have named donations/contributions as one of their 3 main sources of income: BSP at Rs75.26 cr, CPM at Rs36.727 cr, NCP at Rs6.62 cr and AITC at Rs2.17 cr.
Grants/ donations/ contributions of Rs120.71 cr declared by the five national parties form 40.30% of the total income of the parties. Declaration of Rs66.06 cr under membership fees by the parties forms 22% of the total income of the parties, while bank interest constitutes 17.87% of the total income of the parties during FY 2016-17.
Based on these findings, ADR has made its recommendations, chief among which is that the income of any party which does not submit its IT returns on or before the due date, should not lose its entitlement to tax-exemption and defaulting parties should be de-recognized.
Regarding the sources of party income, ADR proposes that full details of all donors should be made available for public scrutiny under the RTI. ADR points out that such a norm is followed in Bhutan, Nepal, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Bulgaria, the US and Japan, where it would be impossible for any party to keep 75% of the source of its funds undisclosed.
 Following a Supreme Court judgment in September 2013, ADR suggests that the Election Commission India impose rules that no part of the Form 24A submitted by political parties providing details of donations above Rs 20,000 should be left blank. Scrutiny by the IT department of those parties not following the ICAI guidelines for auditing of reports is also included in the recommendations. ADR also demands that the national political parties must provide all information on their finances under the Right to Information Act.
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