New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) As many as 15 out of 47 regional parties have not submitted their audit reports for the year 2015-16 to the Election Commission (EC), while the AAP submitted it eight months after the due date.
The due date for submission of annual audited accounts for the parties was October 31, 2016.
The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) was the first party to submit the audit report on June 11, 2016. The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party submitted its report on July 13 this year, 254 days after the due date.
In all, 16 regional parties have delayed their submission by several days, ranging from 22 days to over eight months.
The parties which have not submitted their audit report include the Samajwadi Party (SP), the National Conference (NC), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), according to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Of the remaining 32 parties that submitted the audit report, the total income of these parties for FY 2015-16 was Rs 221.48 crore of which the parties spent Rs 111.48 crore and declared an unspent amount of Rs 110 crore (49.67 per cent of the total income).
Also, only 18 regional parties submitted details of income tax returns as well as donations statements.
Among the regional parties, the DMK has the highest income of Rs 77.63 crore, followed by AIADMK with Rs 54.938 crore and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with Rs 15.978 crore.
Parties with the top three incomes alone comprise more than 67 per cent of the total income of 32 regional parties, collectively, as per the ADR analysis.
The total income of regional political parties from unknown sources (income specified in the IT Returns whose sources are unknown), for FY 2015-16 is Rs 40.61 crore, which is 20 per cent of their total income.
In contrast, the national political parties declared collecting 68.57 per cent (Rs 708.48 crore) of their total income from unknown sources during FY 2015-16.
The parties with highest unknown sources of income are the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) with Rs 7.245 crore, the TDP with Rs 6.876 crore and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) with Rs 6.59 crore.
For the TRS and the SAD, their income from unknown sources forms more than 81 per cent of their total income.
The DMK and the AIADMK, along with the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), have more than 80 per cent of their income remaining unspent.
Fourteen out of 32 regional parties have reported incurring expenditure more than their total income. Of these, JD-U and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) have spent close to 200 per cent of their total income in FY 2015-16.
The ADR has recommended that the EC make it mandatory that no part of Form 24-A submitted by political parties providing details of donations above Rs 20,000 is left blank.
It also demanded that the income of any party, which does not submit its IT returns or donation statement to the EC on or before the due date, should not be tax-exempted and defaulting parties should be derecognised.
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