BJP wealthiest party with Rs. 894cr, Congress has Rs. 759cr
As per an Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report, BJP is the richest among all national parties as it has declared assets worth Rs. 894cr for 2015-16; Congress is a close second with Rs. 759cr. This report collated data from 2004-05 to 2015-16, based on the declaration of national parties' assets and liabilities. What else did the report reveal? Read on!
What is this ADR report?
ADR report titled "Analysis of Assets and Liabilities of National Parties - FY 2004-05 to 2015-16" analyzed the assets and liabilities submitted by the seven national parties: BJP, Congress, NCP, BSP, CPI, CPI(M) and TMC. Assets include all the movable and immovable properties, investments, cash, vehicles, deposits etc. Liabilities include bank borrowings, unsecured loans, access to overdraft facilities etc.
Interestingly, with BJP's assets, ISRO could afford about 50 launches!
Meanwhile, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) spent about Rs. 19cr per commercial satellite launch between 2013 and 2015. This implies that with BJP's assets of about Rs. 894cr, ISRO could have easily launched about 50 satellites!
All political parties have witnessed manifold increase in assets
Political parties' assets demonstrate a sharp increase. BJP's declared assets increased by 627% from Rs. 123cr in 2004-05 to Rs. 894cr in 2015-16. During this period, Congress' assets increased from Rs. 166cr to Rs. 759cr (352%). ADR says CPI (M), whose assets increased from Rs. 90cr to Rs. 438cr (382%), and TMC's Rs. 0.25cr to Rs. 45cr (176%), showed a "steady increase".
"Other assets" is the highest asset category
Assets were declared within six sub-heads: fixed assets, loans/advances, FDR/Deposits, TDS, investments and other assets. In 2015-16, highest asset category is "other assets," wherein asset details are unavailable, under which parties have declared assets worth Rs. 1,605cr. This value is 59% of the total declared assets. Only category to have witnessed reduction is "Investments" (from about Rs. 16cr to about Rs. 4cr).
BJP and Congress declared high "unknown sources of income"
BJP's and Congress' combined income from "unknown sources" for 2015-16 was Rs. 647cr, which is 77% of the total income of the parties. Within BJP's unknown sources, most funds were collected under the heading "Voluntary contributions" and for Congress it was "sale of coupons."
What is the reason for this sharp increase in assets?
Major-General Anil Verma (retd), ADR's head, says sharp increase in assets is because of election funding, which should be "transparent." BJP says the rise reflects the party's ongoing campaign to ensure funding transparency, by ensuring only cheque donations to a centralized bank account and proper filing of tax returns. HT reports that Congress' funds come from membership drives and "investing in safe instruments."