New Delhi

NEW DELHI: Almost 80% of the income of five national political parties comes from unknown sources, election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has said. 

The total income declared by CPM, Congress, BSP, NCP and CPI is Rs 844.71 crore. This is based on income tax returns submitted by the parties to the Election Commission. BJP is yet to submit its I-T returns despite a deadline of November 2014. 

Income from unknown sources amounts to Rs 673.08 crore which is 79.68% of the total income of the parties. Unknown sources are income declared in the I-T returns but without giving source of income for donations below Rs 20,000. Such unknown sources include sale of coupons, purse money, relief fund, miscellaneous income, voluntary contributions, contribution from meetings and morchas. The details of donors of such voluntary contributions are not available in the public domain. 

Nearly 57% of total income was from sale of coupons (smaller donations). Collection from sale of coupons was one of the major sources of income for Congress which collected Rs 477.316 crore while NCP declared collections of Rs 8.32 crore. 

Besides income details, political parties also have to submit details of donations received. A comparison of total donations declared by parties in their I-T returns (both above and below Rs 20,000) and that declared in the donations report shows that only 41% of the total donations of the parties came from voluntary contributions above Rs 20,000. 

A total of Rs 111.29 crore (59%) of the total donations to national parties during 2013-14 were collected from donors whose details are not available in the public domain. 

Congress recorded the highest income among the five parties with a total income of Rs 598.06 crore which forms 70.8% of the total income. CPM declared the second highest income of Rs 121.87 crore which forms 14.43% of the total income of the national parties.

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