Except BJP, Mayawati’s BSP, CPI-M, TMC Get Most of Their Funding from Fee & Subscription: Data

National parties including Communist Part of 8.com/india/">India and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party earned nearly half of their income through fees and subscriptions, according the Election Commission. BJP, however, which earned Rs 1,917.12 crore in 2021-22 from different sources, did not even received 1% of their income from fees and subscriptions.

Fee and subscription is a sub-section when the parties announce their source of income during a particular year. It includes membership fee, bucket collection and subscriptions from the elected representatives. It also takes into account application fees, collection from primary members apart from delegate fees. Different parties have different criteria for payment and collect charges differently.

There are eight national parties in India: BJP, Congress, All India Trinamool Congress (TMC), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M), and National People’s Party (NPP). Collectively, the national parties earned Rs 3,289.28 crore during 2021-22, the ECI data made public last week shows. NPP is not considered in the data analysis as its income was very less when compared to the other parties.

Among all the national parties, CPM has earned the most, at Rs 210.99 crore, from fee and subscription between 2017-18 and 2021-22, followed by Congress (Rs 123.49 crore) and TMC (Rs 119.58 crore), ECI data analysed by News18 shows.

Sources of income of political parties

Even as the Congress has earned Rs 123.49 crore from fees and subscriptions, the share of this category in the overall annual income of the party is smaller. In 2017-18, fee and subscriptions accounted for 13% of the income – the highest in the five-year period — while the next year it was just 3% and in 2019-20, it was less than 1%.

In 2020-21, the contribution of fee and subscription was 7%, which increased to 8.23% in 2021-22, the ECI data shows. During 2017-18 and 2021-22, the Congress earned Rs 2,626.42 crore and fees and subscriptions accounted for just about 5% of this.

Between 2017-18 and 2021-22, CPI’s membership fee has been among the largest sources of income. In 2021-22, fees and subscriptions accounted for about 45% of CPI’s total income while the previous year it was 37%. In 2019-20, it was the second largest contributor at 32%. In 2017-18 and 2018-19, fees and subscriptions were over 27% of CPI’s total income, the second highest source of income both year. During the five-year period, the CPI earned Rs 20.27 crore, of which, at least Rs 6.35 crore, or 32% is from fees and subscriptions.

For CPM, fees and subscriptions accounted for about 30% of the party’s total income in 2021-22. In the previous two years, 2020-21 and 2019-20, the share was 25% while in 2018-19 and 2017-18, the share was 40%. Between 2017-22 period, CPM received Rs 697.7 crore out of which Rs 210.99 crore, that is, 31%, was from fees and subscriptions.

For Mayawati’s BSP, income from bank interest has been the highest source of income, followed by fees and subscriptions. In 2021-22, fee and subscription accounted for 30% of the income. In the previous two years, 2020-21 and 2019-20, it was around 15%. In 2018-19, it was 45% and in 2017-18, the share was 17%. In total, the BSP has earned Rs 66.09 crore under this category, accountable for party’s nearly 25% income.

Mamata Banerjee’s TMC earned nearly Rs 120 crore from fees and subscription between 2017-22 period, accountable for 13% of the total income. In 2017-18, out of TMC’s Rs 5.16 crore income, about 75% was from fees and subscriptions. During 2018-21, this share was 25%. During 2021-22, the share was just 3%, the ECI data shows.

How is BJP getting money?

The data analysed by News18 shows that voluntary contributions have been a major source of income for the BJP while fee and subscription’s share never crossed even 1% of the total income each year between 2017-18 and 2021-22. The saffron party has earned Rs 9,729.45 crore during the five-year period and fees and subscriptions stood at Rs 40.42 crore or just 0.41%.

During 2021-22, the BJP earned Rs 1,917 crore – the highest share — more than 92% of the income from voluntary contributions worth Rs 1,775 crore. This also includes electoral bonds worth Rs 1,033 crore, which account for over 50% of the BJP’s total income in 2021-22. The party has gathered Rs 6.31 crore, or just 0.33%, through fees and subscriptions that year.

The total income of seven national parties, excluding the BJP, was Rs 1,372.16 crore during 2021-22 while the BJP alone bagged Rs 1,917.12 crore.

In 2020-21, the BJP earned Rs 752.33 crore and Rs 577.97 crore of voluntary contributions accounted for about 77% of the total income.

Going further back in 2019-20, the BJP earned Rs 3,623.28 crore and 70% of this income was from the electoral bonds – Rs 2,555 crore. The party earned Rs 21.70 crore from fee and subscription, accounting for 0.60%.

In 2018-19, out of Rs 2,410.08 crore, the BJP earned just 0.08% or Rs 1.89 crore from fee and subscription. In 2017-18, the share of fee and subscription was just 0.54% or Rs 5.5 crore out of BJP’s Rs 1,027.34 crore income.

Every year, political parties have to declare their income, its source and their expenditure to the ECI.

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