The income of a national party crossed ₹ 2000 crores for the first time in 2018-19. BJP declared an income of ₹ 2410 crores in 2018-19, more than twice its income in 2017-18. Even Congress’s income in 2018-19 was ₹ 918 crores, thanks mostly to Electoral Bonds.
Section 29C of ‘Representation of the People Act 1951’, states that every political party which is registered under Section 29 A is required to submit the following to the Election Commission of India (ECI) every year.
- Annual Audit Report – AAR (on or before 31st October of every year)
- Contribution Report – CR (on or before 30th September of every year)
In an earlier story on Factly, the delay in submitting the AARs by various political parties, especially the National parties was highlighted. At the time of the earlier story in November 2019, only 3 out of the 7 National parties i.e. Trinamool Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and CPI(M) had submitted their AARs with only Trinamool Congress submitting before the cut-off date.
The two largest National parties of BJP & INC along with CPI have submitted the reports recently and they were uploaded on the ECI on 09 January 2020. The other national party, which is NCP, is yet to submit if one goes by ECI’s disclosure.
On the other hand, CRs have already been submitted by all the National parties.
BJP’s Income in 2018-19 more than doubled, most coming from Electoral Bonds
As per the Annual Audit report submitted by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party’s income in 2018-19 was to the tune of ₹ 2,410 crores while its income during the previous year i.e. 2017-18 was ₹1,027 crores. In other words, income has more than doubled. This is most likely because of 2019 being an election year.
Contributions form the major share of BJP’s income in both 2017-18 & 2018-19. The substantial increase in 2018-19 can also be attributed to the increase in contributions through various means, especially via electoral bonds. In 2018-19, BJP received ₹ 2,352 crores through voluntary contributions while it was ₹ 989.7 crores in 2017-18.
Substantial share of BJP’s income also came through interest from Banks, which has also increased over the previous year. Earlier it was ₹ 31.2 crores in 2017-18, which increased to 53.92 crores for 2018-19.
Voluntary contributions accounted for 97.7% of BJP’s total income in 2018-19. Similarly, in 2017-18, they made up 96.3% the party’s income.
The variance in the two years has been with the share of Electoral bonds. In the previous year i.e. 2017-18, the amount received via Electoral bonds was around ₹ 210 crores which constituted 21% of the voluntary contributions. In that year, the ‘Other contributions’ made up for a major chunk of 72%.
However, in 2018-19, the total amount of voluntary contributions received via Electoral bonds has not only increased but also constituted the major share. A total of ₹ 1450.89 crores were received through Electoral bonds which is nearly 7 times the amount of the previous year. Electoral bonds formed 61% of the total voluntary contributions i.e. nearly 3 times increase in the share compared to 2017-18.
In terms of the BJP’s total income in 2018-19, electoral bonds alone constituted 60.2% of the total income, whereas in the previous year, it was only 20.4%.
More than four-fold increase in Income earned by INC in 2018-19 but significantly less than BJP
Indian National Congress’s income touched ₹ 918.03 crores in 2018-19 as per the Audit Report submitted by them. This is more than a four-fold increase in the income compared to 2017-18 when INC’s declared income was ₹199.15 crores.
Like in the case of BJP, the increase could be due to Lok Sabha general elections in 2019. However, compared to BJP’s income, the income as declared by INC in 2018-19 is significantly less, in fact less than 40% of the BJP’s income in 2018-19.
A major reason for the increase in Congress’s income during 2018-19 is due to the increase in the Donations and Contributions. In 2017-18, the contributions were only ₹ 32.45 crores which increased significantly to ₹551.55 crores in 2018-19.
Collection by ‘Issuing Coupons’ was the highest source of revenue in 2017-18 with ₹ 110.37 crores, which increased to ₹ 322.59 crores in 2018-19. This still forms a significant part of the total income declared by Congress.
As highlighted earlier, the increase in the income of INC in 2018-19 is due to the increase in ‘Donations and Contributions’. Of these donations and contributions, significant portion belongs to electoral bonds. Electoral bonds received by INC in 2018-19 amounted to ₹ 383.26 crores whereas it was only ₹ 5 crores in 2017-18. Electoral bonds accounted for 41.7% of the total income earned by INC in 2018-19, while it was only 2.5% of the income in 2017-18.
INC has also received a higher contribution in 2018-19 through Electoral Trust & Foundation, with ₹ 94.59 crores, while it was only ₹ 4 crores in 2017-18.
Major share of CPI’s Income in 2018-19 is through Donations and Contributions
Communist Party of India declared an income of ₹ 7.15 crores in 2018-19 of which ₹ 4.08 crores were through Donations and Contributions.
In 2017-18, the major portion of the income was through Fees and Subscriptions. Even though the amount received through Fees & Subscription increased in 2018-19 , it is lesser than the funds received through Donations & Contributions.
As per the Audit report submitted by CPI, there was no mention of any income received through electoral bonds.
Nearly 57% of the Electoral Bonds issued in 2018-19 were received by BJP
Earlier, Factly did a detailed story about Electoral Bonds issued till October 2019. Out of more than ₹ 6,000 crores worth of Electoral Bonds sold so far, nearly ₹ 2,551 crores were sold in 2018-19.
Of the ones sold in 2018-19, BJP received the highest amount of electoral bonds amounting to ₹1450.89 crores i.e. 56.9% of the total. The Congress received nearly ₹ 383.3 crores which is 15% of the total.
Among the regional parties BJD and TRS received the highest amount of Electoral Bonds with ₹ 213.5 crores and ₹141.5 crores respectively. Nearly ₹128.76 crores are still not accounted for, the details of which will be known only after NCP ( the remaining national party) and the remaining state -recognised parties such as TDP submit the Audit reports.
Most of the Political parties gained from Electoral Bonds in 2018-19, with BJP being the biggest beneficiary.
The Audit reports submitted by BJP and INC show that both the national parties have received higher amount of funding in 2018-19 than the previous year, mostly through the electoral Bonds. However, BJP has received more than 3 times the amount of the second highest beneficiary of Electoral bonds i.e. INC. Even in terms of proportion, share of electoral bonds in BJP’s income is higher than in the case of Congress.