Source: 
The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/sources-of-income-of-political-parties-unknown-says-survey/article5127331.ece
Date: 
14.09.2013
City: 
Panaji (Goa)

An analysis of the Income Tax returns and statements filed with the Election Commission by political parties shows that the sources of their income remain largely unknown.

Bhasker Assoldekar, Goa State Coordinator, Association for Democratic Reforms(ADR) and coordinator of Goa Election Watch(GEW), on Friday told The Hindu that this was the conclusion the ADR had come to after it recently analysed the sources of funding of national political parties from 2004-05 to 2011-12.

The ADR has been fighting for democratic reforms and electoral reforms in the country. According to the figures released by ADR, the total income of all political parties taken together between FY 2004-05 and 2011-12 was Rs. 4,895.96 crore.

Total income of political parties from unknown sources (income specified in the Income Tax returns whose sources are unknown) was Rs. 3674.50 crore, which is 75.05 per cent of the total income of the parties.

More than 75%

This means more than 75 per cent of the funds could not be traced and were from ‘unknown’ sources.

Total income of political parties as donations from electoral trusts was Rs. 105.86 crore, which was 2.16 per cent of the total income of the parties.

All this becomes very relevant in the light of recent developments wherein the national political parties were brought under the Right to Information Act (RTI) by a ruling of the Central Information Commissioner (CIC), said ADR coordinator.

“Unfortunately, full transparency is not possible under the current laws, and it is only the RTI that can keep citizens informed,” asserted Mr. Assoldekar.

He pointed out that the total income of political parties from known donors was Rs. 435.85 crore, which is 8.90 per cent of the total income of the parties.

‘Seventy-five per cent of the funds cannot be traced and were from ‘unknown sources’

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