The total assets declared by seven national and 44 regional parties during FY 2019-2020 amounted to Rs 6,988.57 crore and Rs 2,129.38 crore respectively, of which, the highest assets were declared by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Rs 4,847.78 crore (69.37 per cent) among the national parties.
This was followed by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which declared assets worth Rs 698.33 crore (9.99 per cent) and Indian National Congress (INC) that declared assets worth Rs 588.16 crore (8.42 per cent), an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has found.
Among the 44 regional political parties, the top 10 parties declared assets worth Rs 2,028.715 crore or 95.27 per cent of the total assets declared by all the regional parties for the FY 2019-20.
The highest assets were declared by Samajwadi Party (SP) at Rs 563.47 crore (26.46 per cent), followed by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) worth Rs 301.47 crore and All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) worth Rs 267.61 crore.
Fixed Deposits / FDR constituted the largest share of Rs 1,639.51 crore (76.99 per cent) of the total assets declared by regional parties in the FY 2019-20, the analysis said.
“The national and the regional parties failed to adhere to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) guidelines that direct parties to declare details of the financial institutions, banks or agencies from whom loans were taken. The guidelines specify that the parties should state the ‘terms of repayment of term loans’ on the basis of due date such as a year, 1-5 years or payable after 5 years,” observed ADR analysts.
Details of fixed assets received as donation by the parties should be declared such as original cost of the asset, any additions or deductions, depreciation written off, cost of construction, etc. “The same should also be declared of fixed assets purchased by the political parties – not all political parties declared this information,” the analysis said.
None of the parties declared details of loans given by the parties in cash/ kind, especially if it constitutes more than 10 per cent of the total loans.
The assets declared by political parties fall under six major heads: Fixed assets, loans & advances, FDR/ deposits, TDS, Investments, and other assets.
Among the national parties, the BJP and BSP declared the highest assets under FDR/Fixed Deposits, Rs 3,253.00 crore and Rs 618.86 crore respectively while the Congress declared the highest assets under FDR/Fixed Deposits, Rs 240.90 crore for the FY 2019-20.
Among the regional parties, the highest assets were declared under FDR/Fixed Deposits by SP (Rs 434.219 crore), TRS (Rs 256.01 crore), AIADMK (Rs 246.90 crore), DMK (Rs 162.425 crore), Shiv Sena (Rs 148.46 crore) and Biju Janata Dal, BJD (Rs 118.425 crore) among others, the ADR said in a release.
The total liabilities declared by the seven national and 44 regional political parties for the same duration amounted to Rs 134.93 crore. The national political parties declared the total liabilities of Rs 74.27 crore, Rs 4.26 crore under Borrowings and Rs 70.01 crore under Other Liabilities.
The Congress declared the highest total liabilities of Rs 49.55 crore (66.72 per cent) followed by All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) declaring Rs 11.32 crore (15.24 per cent). The regional political parties declared the total liabilities of Rs 60.66 crore, Rs 30.29 crore was declared under Borrowings and Rs 30.37 crore under Other Liabilities. Amongst them, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) declared the highest total liabilities of Rs 30.342 crore (50.02 per cent) followed by DMK that declared Rs 8.05 crore (13.27 per cent).
The ICAI guidelines on auditing of political parties, which have been endorsed by the ECI in order to improve transparency in the finances of political parties, remain guidelines only and have not been actively taken up by the political parties as a mandatory procedure to disclose details of their income, the ADR said. It added, “These guidelines were meant to standardise the format of financial statements of parties apart from improving disclosure of income, expenditure, assets and liabilities of the unique association, political parties.”