The income of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rose by 81.18 per cent between two corresponding financial years while that of the Indian National Congress (INC) went down by 14 per cent during the same period.
According to the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), the BJP declared a total income of the Rs 1,034.27 crore during the Financial Year 2016-17, which is Rs 463.41 crore more than the income during FY 2015-16.
The Congress, on the other hand, earned an income of Rs 225.36 crore in FY 2016-17. Its income in FY 2015-16 was Rs 261.56 crore.
While the BJP spent Rs 710.057 crore in FY 2016-17, the Congress spent Rs 321.66 crore – Rs 96.30 crore more than its income.
“Voluntary contributions” formed the main source of BJP’s income. The party, which leads the NDA government in the Centre and is in power in 20 states of the country, earned Rs 997.12 crore of its income from donations. The amount is 96.41 per cent of the total income of the party. Interest from Bank (Rs 31.18 crore) and Fee and Subscription (Rs 4.29 crore) are the two other prominent sources of the party’s income.
Revenue from issuance of coupons was the main source of income for the Congress. The party, which was at the time led by Sonia Gandhi, made Rs 115.644 crore (or 51.32 per cent) under the head. It made Rs 50.626 crore from grant/donations/contributions.
The maximum spending for both BJP and Congress, expectedly, was on elections. The BJP spent Rs 606.64 crore towards Election/General Propaganda while the Congress spent Rs 149.65 crore on Election Expenditure.
India witnessed 10 legislative elections between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017 – the period of FY 2016-17. Of the 10, the BJP won six while the Congress won two.
It is worth noting that the two parties were among the last of the four who failed to submit their annual audited accounts before 30 October 2017 deadline. While the BJP submitted its report on 8 Feb 2018 (a delay of 99 days) the Congress submitted its report on 19 March 2018 (a delay of 138 days).
The other parties analysed by ADR were Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Communist Party of India (CPI), and All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).
The BSP declared Rs 173.58 crore as its income and Rs 51.83 crore as expenditure. It was the party with the maximum unspent income in FY 2016-17. The CPI(M) earned Rs 100.256 crore and spent Rs 94.056 crore.
The CPI, which submitted its audited report 22 days after end of deadline, declared an income of Rs 2.079 crore and expenditure of Rs 1.426 crore.
The NCP and the AITC were the other two parties whose expenditures were more than their incomes. The NCP, led by Sharad Pawar, earned Rs 17.235 crore but spent Rs 24.967 crore, or 45 per cent more than its income. The party, which has a very strong presence in Maharashtra, submitted its report on 19 January 2018.
Mamata Banerjee led AITC, which is in power in West Bengal and won the 2016 Legislative elections in the state spent Rs 24.26 crore but declared an income of just Rs 6.39 crore. Percentage wise, the difference of 280 per cent was the maximum among the 7 national parties.
The ADR observed that the total income of all seven national parties increased by 51 per cent or by Rs 525.99 crore from Rs 1,033.18 cr during FY- 2015-16. Their maximum income came from ‘Voluntary contributions’.