November 22nd, 2016
Income Of National Parties
Amidst the raging debate about Black Money & Demonetization, here is a 90 second video on the Income of the National Parties in India from ‘Unknown Sources’.
Political parties in India receive contributions from various sources. As per the existing law, they need not disclose/report the identity of the contributor if the contribution is less than Rs 20000.
Section 29C of the Representation of People Act (R.P. Act), 1951, mandates that all donations made to Political Parties by any individual or a company, in excess of Rs. 20,000 should be reported to the Election Commission (EC) before the due date. The issue with such a rule is that parties list the names of only such individuals/companies who donate in excess of Rs 20000. The donations below Rs 20000/- do not have any record. The reports compiled by ADR based on the information available with the Election Commission reveal a very dangerous trend. Close to 75% of all the donations to political parties fall into the below 20000 category. In other words, there is no record of the source of funds for almost 3/4th of the funds received by parties. In some political parties, 100% donations fall into this category. This is one of the major reasons for demanding greater transparency in political party funding so that people get to know the source of funds. Most parties mention sale of coupons, small donations as the source but it is impossible to verify because they do not submit any proof to the Election Commission. If they come under the RTI act, then citizens can ask for such information from the political parties.