New Delhi

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

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

Income from unknown sources amounts to Rupees 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 Rupees 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 Rupees 477.316 crore while NCP declared collections of Rupees 8.32 crore. 

Besides that, 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 Rupees 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 Rupees 20,000.

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

A total of Rupees 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.

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