The total income of 32 regional political parties in 2016-17 was Rs 3.21 billion, with the Samajwadi Party (SP) showing the highest amount of Rs 820 million, says a report.
These 32 regional parties declared a total expenditure of Rs 4.35 billion during the year, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said in a report today. Of these total 32 parties, 17 of them showed Rs 1.14 billion collectively as unspent income.
"SP reported having the highest income of Rs 820 million, which forms 25.78 per cent of the total income of all 32 regional parties, followed by TDP (Telugu Desam Party) with an income of Rs 720 million and AIADMK Rs 480 million," the Delhi-based think tank ADR said.
The total income of top three regional parties -- SP, TDP, AIADMK -- amounted to Rs 2.04 billion, which makes 63.72 per cent of overall receipts of 32 regional parties together, the report showed.
Out of 48 regional parties considered, audit reports of 16 are unavailable for 2016-17 on the website of the Election Commission of India (ECI). This includes some major regional political parties like Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC), Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD), it said.
Hence, the report has analysed the income and expenditure of 32 regional political parties, which have submitted their audit report to the ECI for 2016-17.
Of the 32 regional parties, 14 have shown a decline in their income in 2016-17 as compared to 2015-16, while 13 have shown an increase in their income. Five regional parties have not submitted their Income Tax Return (ITR) to the ECI during 2015-16.
The total income of 27 regional parties that submitted ITR increased from Rs 2.91 billion in 2015-16 to Rs 3.16 billion in 2016-17, a jump of 8.56 per cent, it said.
A total of 17 regional parties have declared a part of their income as remaining unspent during 2016-17, while 15 have spent more than their income during the year.
The ADR further said that All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS) have shown more than 87 per cent of their total income as unspent, while the TDP had 67 per cent of its income remaining unspent during 2016-17.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has declared spending of Rs 810 million over its income, while the SP and the AIADMK declared spending Rs 640 million and Rs 370 million more than their total income, respectively.
The top three regional parties that incurred highest expenditure are the SP which had spent Rs 1.47 billion, followed by the AIADMK Rs 860 million and the DMK Rs 850 million, the report said.
The total expenditure by the SP is 33.78 per cent of the overall expenditure (Rs 4.35 billion) as reported by 32 regional parties, it added.
Expenditure incurred by the top three political parties is 73.38 per cent of the total expenditure as reported by the 32 regional parties.
The due date for submission of annual audited accounts for the parties was October 31, 2017. Out of 48 regional parties considered, 12 had submitted their audit reports on time, while 20 have delayed their submission by several days, ranging from 13 days to 5 months.
In its observations, the ADR said, the most common and popular source of income for regional parties across 2015-16 and 2016-17 are grant, donations, contributions, gross receipts and interest income (bank, FD, TDR with bank).
The most common and popular item of expenditure for regional parties across 2015-16 and 2016-17 are election expenses, administrative and general expenses, it said.